Recalling Them All: Tesla Finds Defect In Autopilot Software

Photo of author

By Md Afraz Alam

Tesla Finds Defect In Autopilot Software – Tesla is all set to recall almost all vehicles it sold in the United States, over 2 million plus, as a defect has been spotted in the vehicles Autopilot system software.

According to documents released on Wednesday by U.S. safety regulators, the soon-to-be-rolled-out update will enhance warnings and alerts for drivers, restricting the areas where basic versions of Autopilot can function. This is Tesla’s second recall of the year.

This comes after a 2year investigation conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration into a series of crashes that happened while the Autopilot automated driving system was in partial use. Some of the accidents had fatalities as well.

In its investigation, the agency found the Autopilot’s method of making sure that ‘drivers are paying attention’ was inadequate and could lead to “foreseeable misuse of the system.”

  • The recall covers models Y, S, 3 and X produced between Oct. 5, 2012, and Dec. 7 of this year. The update was to be sent to certain affected vehicles on Tuesday, with the rest getting it later.

Safety experts appreciated the move as it is in the best interest of user safety. Terming the recall a good step, experts insist it’s still the driver’s responsibility to navigate obstacles when the vehicle is in use as the Autopilot function is partial.

“This technology is not safe, we have to get it off the road,” said Dillion Angulo, who sued Tesla after he suffered injuries that included brain trauma and broken bones. In 2019, Angulo was injured in a crash involving his Tesla that was using the technology along a rural stretch of Florida highway where the software isn’t supposed to be deployed. “The government has to do something about it. We can’t be experimenting like this” he said.

U.S. Senators Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal said that the recall “is critically needed to make Tesla’s cars safer, but it is egregiously overdue… We urge NHTSA to continue its investigations to spur necessary recalls, and Tesla to stop misleading drivers and putting the public in great danger.”

Autopilot comprises of functions known as Autosteer and Traffic Aware Cruise Control. Autosteer is designed for use on limited-access freeways and operates separately from a more advanced feature called Autosteer on urban streets.

The software update is intended to limit usage of Autosteer. “If the driver attempts to engage Autosteer when conditions are not met for engagement, the feature will alert the driver it is unavailable through visual and audible alerts, and Autosteer will not engage,” the recall documents said.

Autosteer helps keep the vehicle in the right lane with “traffic-aware cruise control” which matches the speed of the car to that of the surrounding traffic.

When Autosteer is activated, the car’s systems monitor the driver’s attentiveness. If lack of attention from the driver is observed, warning alerts are issued by the software. Additionally, alerts are triggered if the driver attempts to use Autosteer in unsuitable conditions.

As per the recall notice, the company did not completely agree with the agency’s analysis of the Autopilot system software issue but agreed to add new features to resolve the concerns, which includes additional checks on turning on the self-driving system features.

News of the recall had its impact on Tela shares. Stock prices were initially rattled but it soon recovered. Shares dipped to around $229 but later rebounded to $239.29.

Leave a Reply

Discover more from News Today Daily

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading