In Tesla Autopilot Investigation, Federal Regulators Ask Other Automakers for Their Data

“Gathering data from multiple manufacturers should allow NHTSA to not only make comprehensive determinations about ADAS performance but also examine how vehicle marketing can contribute to the unsafe behaviors taking place on our roads,” says Jason Levine, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety.

By Keith Barry
September 14, 2021

As part of its defect investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot active driver assistance system, the government’s top auto safety watchdog has requested information from 12 other automakers about their similar systems—a potential sign that safety regulators are paying closer attention to features that can control a vehicle’s acceleration and steering.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent letters to BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Stellantis (the parent company of Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Ram, and others), Subaru, Toyota, and Volkswagen, requesting a trove of data, including information about:

  • Any crashes that took place when the vehicle was in control of steering, acceleration, and braking.
  • How each system is designed to function, including any restrictions on its use.
  • How the systems are marketed to drivers.
  • The conditions under which the systems are designed to be used.
  • Any safeguards automakers put in place to ensure that the systems are not abused or misused.

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