Feds look at Musk’s tweet about turning off driver monitoring

DETROIT (AP) — Elon Musk’s tweet indicating that Tesla may allow some owners who are testing a “full self-driving” system to turn off a warning reminding them to keep their hands on the wheel has attracted the attention of US regulators. .

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it has asked Tesla for more information about the tweet. The agency said last week that the issue is now part of a broader investigation into at least 14 Tesla vehicles that crashed into emergency vehicles while using the Autopilot driver assistance system.

Since 2021, Tesla has been conducting “full self-driving” beta testing with owners who have not been trained on the system but are actively monitored by the company. Tesla said earlier this year that 160,000 vehicles took part, which is roughly 15% of the Tesla vehicles currently on US roads. Wider distribution of the software was supposed to start at the end of 2022.

Despite the name, Tesla still says on its website that cars cannot drive on their own. Teslas using “full autonomous driving” can navigate the roads themselves in many cases, but experts say the system could be wrong. “We’re not saying it’s fully prepared for no one to drive,” CEO Musk said in October.

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