Tesla investigated over emergency vehicle crashes

America’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced an investigation into Tesla vehicles because of crashes with ambulances and fire engines with flashing lights on.

It says it is looking into “Autopilot & First Responder Scenes” involving crashes with in-road or roadside first responders.

It is looking into eleven crashes and fires and seven injury accidents which have led to 17 injuries.

The document reads:

Since January 2018, the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has identified eleven crashes in which Tesla models of various configurations have encountered first responder scenes and subsequently struck one or more vehicles involved with those scenes. The incidents are listed at the end of this summary by date, city, and state.

Most incidents took place after dark and the crash scenes encountered included scene control measures such as first responder vehicle lights, flares, an illuminated arrow board, and road cones. The involved subject vehicles were all confirmed to have been engaged in either Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control during the approach to the crashes.

Autopilot is an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) in which the vehicle maintains its speed and lane
centring when engaged within its Operational Design Domain (ODD). With the ADAS active, the driver still holds primary responsibility for Object and Event Detection and Response (OEDR), e.g., identification of obstacles in the roadway or adverse manoeuvres by neighbouring vehicles during the Dynamic Driving Task (DDT).

ODI has opened a Preliminary Evaluation of the SAE Level 2 ADAS system (Autopilot) in the Model Year 2014-2021 Models Y, X, S,and 3. The investigation will assess the technologies and methods used to monitor, assist, and enforce the driver’s engagement with the dynamic driving task during Autopilot operation. The investigation will additionally assess the OEDR by vehicles when engaged in Autopilot mode, and ODD in which the Autopilot mode is functional.

The investigation will also include examination of the contributing circumstances for the confirmed crashes… and other similar crashes.

(Picture – Tesla)


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