Tesla’s Self-Driving Technology Comes Under Justice Dept. Scrutiny – The New York Times

Federal officials have asked Tesla for documents related to the company’s self-driving software, the carmaker has disclosed, a potential setback for technology that Elon Musk, the chief executive, has identified as a critical competitive advantage.

Tesla said in an annual report dated Monday and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had received requests from the Justice Department “for documents related to Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD features.”

Autopilot, introduced in 2015, is a collection of technologies designed to steer, brake and accelerate vehicles on its own.

For nearly two years, Tesla has also been testing a technology it calls Full Self-Driving, or FSD, with a limited number of car owners. This system seeks to extend Autopilot technology beyond highways and onto city streets. Both technologies require strict oversight by a human driver.

The features have prompted lawsuits from owners who say it does not live up to Mr. Musk’s promises. And others are investigating the safety of the technologies.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the primary auto safety regulator in the United States, is investigating Autopilot after becoming aware of 35 crashes involving the system, including nine that resulted in 14 deaths. Its investigation covers 830,000 vehicles sold in the United States and is looking at Full Self-Driving as well as Autopilot.

In its filing reporting the Justice Department requests, Tesla declared, “To our knowledge no government agency in any ongoing investigation has concluded that any wrongdoing occurred.” It added that “should the government decide to pursue an enforcement action” it could have a significant impact on company finances.

Tesla provided no further details and did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday. The Justice Department declined to comment.

Speaking to investors last week, Mr. Musk said the FSD technology gave Tesla “a tremendous upside advantage” by generating revenue from people who already own a car. Tesla charges $199 a month for owners to upgrade basic Autopilot software to Full Self-Driving.

In its owner’s manual and other documents, Tesla has long said drivers must keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road, ready to take control of the car at any time. With the current system, cars will disengage Autopilot if drivers do not consistently keep a hand on the wheel.

Nonetheless, Mr. Musk has often described the technology as if it could fully drive cars or was on its way to operating autonomously. The name of the technology also implies that it can operate without oversight.

In 2016, he said Tesla vehicles were leaving the factory with all the hardware they would need to achieve autonomy — a statement that surprised and concerned some Tesla employees who were working on the project. Since …….


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



U.S. Courts India as Technology Partner to Counter China – The New York Times

Officials from the United States and India agreed on Tuesday to expand cooperation on advanced weaponry, supercomputing, semiconductors and other high-tech fields, as the Biden administration looks to strengthen its connections with Asian allies and offset China’s dominance of cutting-edge technologies.

The agreements followed two days of high-level meetings in Washington between government officials and executives from dozens of companies, the first under a new dialogue about critical and emerging technologies that President Biden and India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, announced in Tokyo in May.

<p class="css-at9mc1…….


US blocks export license renewals for China’s Huawei – The Associated Press – en Español

BEIJING (AP) — China’s government accused Washington on Tuesday of pursuing “technology hegemony,” as the United States has begun stepping up pressure on tech giant Huawei by blocking access to American suppliers.

The Biden administration has stopped approving renewal of licenses to some U.S. companies that have been selling essential components to the Chinese company, according to two people familiar with the matter. Neither was authorized to comment publicly on the sensitive matter and they spoke on the condition of anonymity.

<p class="Component-root-0-2-51 p Component…….