NTSB, which makes recommendations but lacks enforcement powers, has urged regulators at the NHTSA to investigate Autopilot’s limitations, potential for driver misuse, and possible safety risks following a series of crashes involving the technology, some of them fatal. “The past has shown the focus has been on innovation over safety and I’m hoping we’re at a point where that tide is turning,” the NTSB’s new chair, Jennifer Homendy, told Reuters in an interview. She said there is no comparison between Tesla’s Autopilot and the more rigorous autopilot systems used in aviation that involve trained pilots, rules addressing fatigue, and testing for drugs and alcohol.
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Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey wrote Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk on Feb. 8 raising “significant concerns” about the electric-car maker’s Autopilot and FSD systems which have prompted scrutiny from safety regulators. In a previously unreported March 4 letter to the senators, Tesla’s senior director, public policy and business development Rohan Patel, said the features enhance the ability of its customers “to drive safer than the average driver in the U.S.” Patel noted that both systems “require the constant monitoring and attention of the driver.” Tesla vehicles are capable of performing “some but not all of the Dynamic Driving Tasks” that can be performed by human drivers, he added
.David Shepardson, Reuters FULL ARTICLE