The mystery of the 750 Teslas that stop on the highway for no reason

Stopping on the highway is of course very dangerous. So when your “autonomous” car brakes for no reason, that’s what to worry about… An investigation has been opened against Tesla in the United States.

” The phantom braking »: it sounds like the title of a bad horror movie, but the story is real. In the United States, around 750 Tesla owners have complained to NHTSA (the local traffic safety agency). The problem ? Their car brakes suddenly or evenstop in the middle of the highway, for no apparent reason. Disturbing enough for NHTSA to open investigation. The agency has requested specific explanations from Tesla.

“Decelerations without warning and repeatedly”

A 14-page letter asks the manufacturer led by Elon Musk for more details on these incidents. Was the “FSD” (Full Self-Driving capability) active at those times? Who of the emergency braking systems, did they work correctly? The agency is also looking to get their hands on the videos filmed by the cars at the time of the incidents, and on the data detected by the car. The NHTSA also wants to have more details on various accidents, injuries and deaths related to the brand’s cars.

According to the Guardian, NHTSA has been investigating since February, after receiving 354 complaints from Tesla owners. More 400,000 copiesTesla Model 3 and Model Y manufactured between 2021 and 2022, would be affected.

Complainants report that rapid deceleration can occur without warning, and often repeatedly within a single drive cycle.

The disappearance of speed cameras, the cause of the incidents on the Tesla?

If this phenomenon only affects Teslas manufactured between 2021 and 2022, it should not be related to the software of the car. Indeed, all models receive updates, no reason for some model years to be more affected than others if the problem came from there. On the other hand, interestingly, Tesla has removed since 2021 the radars of its Model 3 and Model Y products in the United States. According to the manufacturer, the cameras fitted to the car would be sufficient to guarantee the operation of the driving aids.

If Tesla has not yet spoken on the subject, we can therefore see a link between this decision and the cars affected by “phantom braking”. The cameras could then have difficulty in distinguish between shadows and objects, for example. Emergency braking would then be activated, the car believing it was heading towards an obstacle.

But without confirmation from the manufacturer or the NHTSA, difficult to be sure.

Source: The Guardian

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