The National Transportation Safety Board Tuesday deeply criticized Tesla’s lack of system safeguards in a deadly 2018 Autopilot accident in California and called U.S. regulators’ approach in managing the driver assistance systems “misguided.”
NTSB board members questioned Tesla’s design of its semi-automated driving assistance system. They condemned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for a “hands-off approach” to regulating the more and more popular methods.
The board faulted Apple and other smartphone manufacturers for refusing to disable devices when customers are driving. It called on the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) to employ its authority to take action “in opposition to “employers who fail to address the dangers of distracted driving.”
The board’s criticism posed a direct challenge to the auto sector’s efforts to profit from partially automated automobiles and the smartphone business’s search to keep user eyes on their devices.
The NTSB can make suggestions, while NHTSA oversees U.S. autos. NHTSA has sent crews to investigate 14 Tesla crashes in which Autopilot is suspected of being in use; however, taken no action against the corporation.
Concerns have grown about systems that may perform driving duties for extended routes with little or no human touch; however, it can not fully replace human drivers.
Walter Huang, an Apple software engineer, was driving his Tesla Model X in 2018 in Autopilot mode at about 70 miles per hour when it hit a safety barrier. The NTSB stated Huang had been using his phone, and recovered logs showed a word–building game was active.
NHTSA stated it’ll carefully evaluate the NTSB’s recommendations.