Tesla is recalling all 363,000 US vehicles with its so-called “Full Self Driving” driver assist software due to safety risks. It is yet another blow to the feature that is central to the automaker’s business model.
U.S. regulators said the driver assistance system did not adequately adhere to traffic safety laws and could cause crashes. Tesla will now recall the cars to update its Full Self-Driving Beta software.
The move is a rare intervention by federal regulators in a real-world testing program that the company sees as crucial to the development of cars that can drive themselves.
“Full self-driving,” as it currently stands, navigates local roads with steering, braking, and acceleration, but requires a human driver prepared to take control at any moment, as the system makes judgment errors.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that, based on its analysis, Tesla’s FSD feature “led to an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety based on insufficient adherence to traffic safety laws.”
The regulators warned that FSD could violate traffic laws at some intersections “before some drivers may intervene.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the Tesla software allows a vehicle to “exceed speed limits or travel through intersections in an unlawful or unpredictable manner increases the risk of a crash.”
This is a fresh setback for Tesla’s driver assistance system.
Chief Executive Elon Musk has repeatedly missed his own targets to achieve self-driving capability, which he has touted as a potential cash cow.
The recall comes less than two weeks before the company’s March 1 investor day, during which Musk is expected to promote the EV maker’s artificial intelligence capability and plans to expand its vehicle lineup.
Musk tweeted on Thursday that the word “recall” for an over-the-air software update is “anachronistic and just flat wrong!”
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