The news: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has officially launched a formal safety probe into Tesla’s Autopilot driver assistance feature following a rise in reports of crashes with emergency response vehicles, per The Associated Press.
How we got here: Regulatory interest in Autopilot and other driver assistance features has heated up as more drivers adopt the technology.
More on this: Tesla has drawn particular scrutiny after the company announced it would transition Autopilot away from lidar and radar, and instead use only computer vision.
What’s next? Increased regulatory scrutiny or a potential recall could shatter already shaky consumer trust in AVs, and potentially force Tesla to scale back Autopilot’s timeline for fully transitioning to computer vision.
Increased regulatory setbacks could magnify consumer’s safety concerns, ultimately delaying AV adoption. For context, nearly half (48%) of US respondents in a 2020 Deloitte survey said they thought AVs would not be safe, a figure slightly higher than from two years prior (47%).
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