Federal Regulator Investigates Tesla Autopilot Recall

Federal Regulator Investigates Tesla Autopilot Recall
Image copyright: Justin Sullivan/Staff/Getty Images News via Getty Images North America

The Facts

  • Federal regulators are investigating the efficacy of Tesla's steps to fix safety concerns around its Autopilot system after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published the findings of its nearly three-year investigation into the system.

  • In December, Tesla recalled more than 2M of its electric vehicles (EVs) to implement a software update that intended to increase warnings to drivers operating Autopilot. However, the NHTSA says the update did little to improve safety and that additional updates after the recall may not have worked.

The Spin

Narrative A

Tesla continues to face a myriad of issues over its Autopilot. While the company claimed to have resolved problems that led to nearly 1K crashes, the effort appears to be haphazard as people continue to die. This failure spells doom for Elon Musk’s plan to develop a fully autonomous robotaxi, and it seems like Tesla can’t get out of its own way as problems continue to mount.

Narrative B

Tesla continues to make great progress in developing autonomous vehicles. Although some accidents are sadly inevitable, these are less frequent than for non-autonomous vehicles, and don't undermine the robust safety testing of Tesla’s systems. The company resolved minor issues with its recent software update, and the NHTSA inquiry will find that Autopilot is working just fine.

Metaculus Prediction

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