The technology company Tesla’s self-driving vehicles were involved in 273 crashes in the United States between July 2021 and May 2022, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in a statement Wednesday.
The NHTSA report focused on vehicles called Level 2 software. It can accelerate or slow down a vehicle and – if necessary – turn the steering wheel, but requires careful driving to regain control when needed. In total, the NHTSA reported 392 accidents involving cars with this software. About 70 percent (or 273 accidents) happened in Tesla cars.
The transportation agency said the published figures were “not meaningful safety data” because the accident was likely to be reported multiple times. Incidentally, to count, the accident must have occurred while the driver assistance system was active. In addition, the accident should involve pedestrians or two-wheelers (bicycle or motorcycle), take someone to the hospital, use an airbag or remove the vehicle.
Of the eleven other manufacturers, only carmaker Honda has been involved in a significant number of accidents (90). The NHTSA points out that Tesla has the largest number of vehicles with such a driver assistance system on U.S. roads and should consider this when reading the report.
In addition, the transportation company conducted another investigation to explore the possible link between Tesla vehicles and emergency vehicle accidents. That investigation shifted from a preliminary assessment to a technical analysis, which is the final step before the vehicles are recalled.
Tesla has already made it clear that drivers with an automated pilot system must be vigilant at all times, but the feedback is not available, according to the French news agency AFP.
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