Tesla Demonstrates Full Self-Driving Technology to US Regulatory Agency – Report

Tesla has entered the lions’ den, unveiling its so-called Full Self-Driving Beta to officials at the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), not long after the agency requested the revocation of its license to sell cars.

Bloomberg reports that last week’s demonstration took place at the DMV headquarters in Sacramento. Also present was a representative from the California Highway Patrol and three outside consultants from the DMV.

According to emails received by Bloomberg about a public filing request, Tesla initially tried to bar those advisers from attending the demonstration.

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“I wonder if it’s appropriate to include your advisors who have made negative public statements about Tesla,” Jennifer Cohen, Tesla’s California head of policy and business development, wrote in a late September email to Miguel Acosta, head of the… DMV for autonomous vehicles.

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“We have not yet received assurances that their bias will not affect DMV’s treatment of Tesla.”

The three advisors were Bryant Walker Smith, a fellow at Stanford Law School, Michael Wagner, CEO of Edge Case Research, and Steven Shladover, a University of California transportation research engineer.

Smith has previously said that the state’s autonomous vehicle testing rules should apply to Teslas using FSD, while Shladover wrote earlier this year that the company’s use of the term “self-driving” was “very harmful.”

Neither of the parties involved responded to requests for comment from Bloomberg.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently said he doesn’t expect regulatory approval for his company’s autonomous driving technology until next year.

Tesla is planning a broad rollout of its Full Self-Driving technology this quarter. Around 160,000 Tesla drivers in North America currently have access to the FSD Beta.

It started deploying an update this week, with the release notes mentioning improvements like “reduced false slowdowns for pedestrians near crosswalks by using a better model for pedestrian kinematics.”

Controversially, while Tesla is increasingly pursuing autonomous driving, it is phasing out radar and sensors and eschewing LiDAR in favor of its camera-based Tesla Vision system.

California’s DMV has been vocal about Tesla’s misleading claims about its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving technology.

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In a July 28 complaint to the California Office of Administrative Hearings, it called for the suspension or revocation of Tesla’s license to sell and manufacture cars in the state.

It also ordered Tesla to pay compensation to parties who suffered financial loss or damage and order all other “just and reasonable” actions.

“Defendant made or disseminated statements that are untrue or misleading and not based on fact in advertising vehicles equipped or potentially equipped with advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) features,” his complaint reads.

It specifically named the controversially named Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Level 2 autonomous driving features, citing statements made in Tesla’s marketing materials — primarily on the company’s website — from 2021 to July 2022.

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“The system is designed in such a way that it can make short and long-distance journeys without the intervention of the person in the driver’s seat,” reads a line quoted by the California DMV in its complaint.

“All you have to do is get in and tell your car where to go. If you don’t say anything, your car looks at your calendar and takes you there as the supposed destination,” says another.

While the DMV acknowledges that Tesla publishes disclaimers in which the features “require active driver monitoring and do not render the vehicle autonomous,” it asserts that this disclaimer contradicts the “original untrue or misleading labels and claims” and “does not cure the violation.” .

Tesla is also reportedly the subject of a criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, with three people familiar with the matter telling Reuters late last month that the investigation was launched after more than a dozen crashes last year in which Tesla’s Autopilot system was active .

Some of these crashes were fatal.

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Prosecutors in Washington DC and San Francisco are reportedly examining whether Tesla misled consumers, investors and regulators by making unsubstantiated claims about the capabilities of its driver-assistance technology.

This investigation represents a more rigorous scrutiny than previous investigations because it could result in criminal charges against the company or individual executives, the sources said.

The DOJ could also seek civil penalties.

The Autopilot investigation is currently competing with two other DOJ investigations Tesla is involved in, a source told Reuters, adding that there is still work to be done and no decision is imminent.

Autopilot is considered a Level 2 autonomous driving feature, as is the Full Self-Driving Beta – despite what the name might suggest.

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Level 2 technology requires the driver to be alert at all times, even when the vehicle takes control of acceleration, braking and steering.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation in August 2021 into a series of accidents, one of which was fatal, in which Autopilot-equipped Teslas collided with stationary rescue and road maintenance vehicles.

The active NHTSA probe covers 830,000 Tesla vehicles equipped with Autopilot.

It confirmed in June 2022 that it upgraded its investigation to a “technical analysis” and identified 16 crashes. Such a step is required before a recall can be requested.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been candid about the capabilities of his company’s driver-assistance technology.

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In a 2016 conference call, he described autopilot as “probably better” than a human driver, though he’s since moved the goalposts.

Last month, he said it would take until next year for an update before the company’s driver-assistance technology can “show regulators that the car is much safer than the average human” and that cars are fully self-driving beta “will be able to.” be able to take you from home to your work, your friend’s house, to the grocery store, all while touching the steering wheel”.

Sometimes he made contradicting statements in the same breath. In the same earnings call last week, Mr Musk said: “As if we weren’t going to say that’s pretty willing to have nobody behind the wheel. It’s just that you almost never have to touch the controls, the vehicle controls.”

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He continued, “But I think we’re going to be pretty close… that you won’t have anyone in the car by the end of this year. And certainly, without question, whatever I have in mind, next year.”

Aside from Mr Musk’s statements, Tesla has been careful to post disclaimers saying its technology does not make the vehicle autonomous.

The Tesla website, for example, warns that before activating Autopilot, the driver must first agree to “keep your hands on the wheel at all times” and always “retain control and responsibility for your vehicle.”

https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/motoring/tesla-demos-full-self-driving-technology-to-us-regulator-report-c-8733598 Tesla Demonstrates Full Self-Driving Technology to US Regulatory Agency – Report

James Brien

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