driver assist

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said this week it had launched an investigation into a fatal accident that may have resulted from a Tesla vehicle’s advanced driver assist system. The recent accident resulted in three fatalities after a 2022 Tesla Model S crashed into a construction site in Newport Beach, California. 

Tesla’s driver assist technology and systems have faced scrutiny since they were first released, with growing concerns that the vehicles perform ill-advised maneuvers and drivers fail to pay attention when they are in use. The new investigation joins 34 others into Tesla’s Autopilot and advanced driver assist systems. 

Meanwhile, AAA said this week that advanced driver assist systems like Tesla’s are unreliable, and drivers should not rely on them too much. AAA Colorado’s Director of Public Affairs, Skyler McKinley, said that “Spotty performance [of these systems] isn’t the exception – it’s the norm.”

A recent test included the technology on a 2020 Tesla Model 3, a 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe, and a 2021 Subaru Forester. While the vehicles performed adequately in some testing situations, they collided with cars in some trials, and all three vehicles collided with bicycles in several of the tests. 

AAA’s guidance to automakers included the recommendation to “improve existing active driving assistance systems such that they perform more consistently before focusing on more advanced, ‘self-driving’ options.”

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