The United States asks Tesla about Musk’s tweet about the driver monitoring function

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Monday that it has been in touch with Tesla. (TSLA.O) About a tweet CEO Elon Musk wrote about the driver monitoring function.

A Dec. 31 tweet suggested that drivers with more than 10,000 miles using Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” (FSD) software system should be able to disable the “nag on the steering wheel,” an alert that instructs drivers to hold the steering wheel to confirm. Pay attention. And Musk replied: “OK, the update is coming in January.”

NHTSA said Monday that it is “in contact with Tesla to gather additional information.” The Associated Press reported NHTSA’s statement earlier. Tesla did not immediately comment.

The Auto Safety Agency confirmed that questions related to Musk’s tweet relate to an ongoing investigation into defects in 830,000 Tesla cars with Autopilot driver-assist systems, including incidents with parked emergency vehicles.

NHTSA is reviewing whether Tesla cars are adequately ensuring drivers’ attention, and it has previously been said that evidence indicates that in most incidents under review, drivers complied with Tesla’s attention-seeking alert strategy, raising questions about its effectiveness.

Tesla sells a $15,000 FSD software add-on that enables its cars to change lanes and park independently. This is complemented by the standard “Autopilot” feature, which enables cars to steer, accelerate and brake within their own lane without driver intervention. Both systems use the steering wheel monitoring function.

Last month, NHTSA said it had opened two new private investigations into crashes in Tesla vehicles where advanced driver assistance systems were suspected of being used. Since 2016, NHTSA has opened more than thirty investigations into Tesla crashes in which advanced driver assistance systems such as Autopilot were suspected of being used with 19 reported fatalities.

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In December 2021, NHTSA opened an investigation into Tesla’s decision to allow passengers to play games on the front center touchscreen covering 580,000 vehicles above in-vehicle “Passenger Play” over concerns about driver distraction.

Shortly after the investigation was opened, the agency said, Tesla told NHTSA that it would stop allowing video games to be played on vehicle screens while its cars were in motion.

(Reporting by David Shepherdson) Editing by Nick Zieminski

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