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Tesla Updates Autosteer Following Recall in US

Tesla Updates Autosteer Following Recall in US

Sarah Hardacre
Tesla recently deployed a massive update to its Autosteer function as part of a recall of nearly all its two million cars on US roads.

The recall follows a two-year investigation carried out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The US agency reviewed 956 accidents where drivers engaged Tesla’s Autopilot.

The NHTSA informed Tesla via letter in mid-December that it had determined “in certain circumstances when Autosteer is engaged, and the driver does not maintain responsibility for vehicle operation and is unprepared to intervene as necessary or fails to recognize when Autosteer is canceled or not engaged, there may be an increased risk of a crash.”

The recall does not put into question the capability of the Autosteer function but adds additional checks and notifications to ensure that drivers do not relinquish their responsibility when activated. As written in Tesla’s owner’s manual, “autosteer is intended for use only on highways and limited-access roads with a fully attentive driver.”

To remedy the issue, Tesla will be carrying out an over-the-air software update, free of charge to owners, which will add new controls and alerts when a driver engages Autosteer.

Depending on the model and the hardware installed, these controls will include reminders to keep hands on the steering wheel, simplified processes to engage and disengage Autosteer, improved notifications when Autosteer is automatically disengaged, and possible suspension of Autosteer should the driver repeatedly fail to demonstrate driving responsibility. Tesla says that pending and during the update, the cars are still safe to drive.

While the Autosteer is a powerful feature, this is not the first time that NHTSA has investigated Tesla for imperfections in its Full Self Driving (FSD) features. In February, Tesla recalled all US vehicles due to errors with the FSD capabilities, such as not stopping at an intersection when in a turn-only lane or failing to come to a complete stop at stop signs.

More recently, two US senators have written to Elon Musk to urge the Tesla CEO to rescind “apparent false and misleading representations” made to the NHTSA following a Reuters investigation into the company’s safety practices.

Tesla continues to invest in the FSD capabilities and believes the investment in AI will be key to the future growth and value of Tesla.

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