Skip to main content

The federal government is investigating yet another Tesla Autopilot crash

The federal government is investigating yet another Tesla Autopilot crash

/

There have been three crashes involving Tesla vehicles in recent weeks

Share this story

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating another Tesla crash in which Autopilot was allegedly in use.

The crash took place outside of Lansing, Michigan, when the driver of a Tesla Model Y smashed into a state trooper’s cruiser. Michigan police said the driver was using Autopilot, Tesla’s advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS), at the time of the crash. No one was injured, but the government sent investigators to the scene to determine how Autopilot may have contributed to the crash.

“NHTSA is aware of the incident involving a Tesla vehicle near Lansing, Michigan,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “Consistent with NHTSA’s vigilant oversight and robust authority over the safety of all motor vehicles and equipment, including automated technologies, we have launched a Special Crash Investigation team to investigate the crash.”

This is the latest crash involving a Tesla to be scrutinized by federal investigators

This is the latest crash involving a Tesla to be scrutinized by federal investigators. NHTSA has sent teams to inspect similar crashes involving Teslas that took place in recent weeks in Houston and Detroit. Local law enforcement has said it doesn’t believe Autopilot was involved in the Detroit crash, but they have yet to make the same determination in Houston.

This is also the latest incident to involve a driver using Autopilot crashing into a stationary object. There have been at least two fatal crashes in which a Tesla owner has smashed into a stopped vehicle, and Tesla has yet to address it in any meaningful way.

Tesla didn’t respond to a request for comment, likely because the company has dissolved its press office and typically doesn’t respond to media requests anymore. In the past, Tesla has warned its customers that Autopilot is not an autonomous driving system and still requires constant attention to the road while in use.

At the same time, the company recently rolled out a beta version of Autopilot called “Full Self Driving” that has given many people the false impression that Tesla vehicles are autonomous and don’t require drivers to pay attention to the road. Tesla recently expanded the number of people who have access to the beta software. “Still be careful, but it’s getting mature,” CEO Elon Musk tweeted recently.

Tesla has a checkered history with the NHTSA, the federal agency that can issue recalls and investigate automobile crashes. The agency has investigated multiple fatal crashes involving Autopilot. Last year, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the ADAS was one of the probable causes of a fatal 2018 crash, in which a California man was killed after his Model X smashed into a concrete barrier. Later, the chair of the safety board said Tesla was ignoring its recommendations. And last year, a spokesperson for NHTSA said the agency was “monitoring” the rollout of Tesla’s Full Self Driving software.

Safety advocates decried Tesla’s decision to test its driver-assistance software on its customers as irresponsible. The executive director of the Center for Auto Safety accused Tesla of “intentionally misleading the public regarding the capabilities and shortcomings of their technology,” according to The Associated Press.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 25 Not just you

E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 25
Rihanna’s headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Apple Music’s set to sponsor the Halftime Show next February, and it’s starting out strong with a performance from Rihanna. I honestly can’t remember which company sponsored the Halftime Show before Pepsi, so it’ll be nice to see how Apple handles the show for Super Bowl LVII.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 25
Starlink is growing.

The Elon Musk-owned satellite internet service, which covers all seven continents including Antarctica, has now made over 1 million user terminals. Musk has big plans for the service, which he hopes to expand to cruise ships, planes, and even school buses.

Musk recently said he’ll sidestep sanctions to activate the service in Iran, where the government put restrictions on communications due to mass protests. He followed through on his promise to bring Starlink to Ukraine at the start of Russia’s invasion, so we’ll have to wait and see if he manages to bring the service to Iran as well.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 25
We might not get another Apple event this year.

While Apple was initially expected to hold an event to launch its rumored M2-equipped Macs and iPads in October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts Apple will announce its new devices in a series of press releases, website updates, and media briefings instead.

I know that it probably takes a lot of work to put these polished events together, but if Apple does pass on it this year, I will kind of miss vibing to the livestream’s music and seeing all the new products get presented.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


A
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.


A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
J
Twitter
Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.