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25 June, 2024
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Tesla recalls over 2M vehicles following autopilot safety concerns

Flaw in automatic driving system, prompts the need for safety


In response to safety concerns related to its Autopilot system, Tesla is initiating a massive recall, impacting more than 2 million vehicles across its entire model range.

As reported by AP, the recall comes as a response to a flaw in the automatic driving system, prompting the need for corrective measures to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers.

Documents released today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shed light on the situation. Tesla has dispatched a software upgrade aimed at rectifying the identified issue. The Autopilot function, designed to guarantee that drivers remain attentive to the road, is found to potentially be insufficient, leading to a "predictable misuse of the system."

The recall encompasses nearly all vehicles sold by Tesla in the United States since the introduction of Autopilot functionality in late 2015. This move is significant, affecting a substantial portion of Tesla's customer base and highlighting the critical nature of the identified flaw.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration emphasizes that their inspections revealed potential shortcomings in the Autopilot's operation. This function, which is supposed to ensure drivers' continued attention to the road and driving, may fall short, creating a risk of misuse that could compromise overall safety.

This recall announcement comes after an exhaustive two-year investigation by U.S. regulatory authorities into automotive safety. The investigation was triggered by a series of accidents, some of them fatal, occurring while the Autopilot system was in operation. Despite its name, Autopilot is categorized as an assistance system, capable of guiding, accelerating, and braking automatically within the traffic lane.

The complexity of the issue lies in the fact that the Autopilot system, while offering advanced driving assistance, requires vigilant human oversight. Independent road tests have revealed vulnerabilities in the monitoring system, with instances of drivers being caught sitting in even the rear seats while the system is active.

Over the years, there has been an ongoing call for stricter regulation of driver monitoring systems. The focus has primarily been on ensuring these systems can effectively detect if the driver's hands are on the steering wheel, addressing potential loopholes that might allow users to manipulate or deceive the system.

As Tesla works to implement the necessary software upgrades and address the identified flaws, the broader conversation around the regulation of automated driving features gains renewed attention. The incident underscores the delicate balance between innovation and safety in the rapidly evolving landscape of autonomous driving technology.

[With information sourced from AP]

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