Tesla’s “Autopilot”: Investigations into 30 accidents in the US – 10 deaths


The US traffic safety authority NHTSA has now initiated investigations into 30 accidents in which a Tesla was involved and in which the use of the autopilot driver assistance technology is suspected. In total, there are 10 deaths. That comes from the first complete listing of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reports the news agency Reuters. Eight of the investigations alone have been initiated since March of this year. In a total of three of the 30 procedures, the use of Tesla’s “Autopilot” could be excluded, two final reports are ready.

Tesla’s driver assistance system enables electric cars to automatically brake, accelerate and change lanes. The manufacturer points out that the function does not make the car completely autonomous and requires driver supervision, but at the same time there is criticism of the naming, among other things, which suggests more autonomy. There are now almost regular reports of accidents in the USA in which the driver assistance system seems to be partly to blame. The most recent accident to become known occurred in early May, when it was said that it was the 29th with a Tesla being examined by the NHTSA. The first fatal accident with the automated driving system occurred in 2016; the last one in which the “autopilot” is said to have played a role occurred last month in California. Two people were killed in an accident in Texas in April.

Overall, in three of the accidents investigated, the authorities determined that the “autopilot” was activated, Reuters still writes. The news agency points out that Tesla’s driver assistance system has been the focus of attention again since the fatal accident in Texas. Nobody should have been in the driver’s seat. Tesla boss Elon Musk insists that no one would assume that the car would drive itself because of the term “autopilot”.

The figures now available to Reuters also show that the NHTSA initiated six further investigations into accidents involving the involvement of driver assistance systems. This includes the accident involving a test vehicle from Uber that ran over a woman in Arizona in 2018 who had crossed a street in an unintended location.


To home page