Pete Buttigieg says there’s a ‘genuine concern’ about how drivers interact with systems like Tesla’s Autopilot

Pete Buttigieg says there’s a ‘genuine concern’ about how drivers interact with systems like Tesla’s Autopilot

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
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  • Pete Buttigieg said there are concerns about how drivers interact with systems like Tesla’s Autopilot.
  • The Transport Secretary said assisted driving technology was “very promising”.
  • But it raised questions about the safety of driver assistance systems for road users.

How drivers interact with self-driving systems such as Tesla’s Autopilot system was a cause for concern, Pete Buttigieg said.

“There’s a real concern that’s not just about the technology itself, but about the interaction between the technology and the driver,” the transportation secretary said of investigations into Tesla’s software during an interview. a press conference on Tuesday.

“The question is not whether they are absolutely problem-free or one thousand percent infallible,” Buttigieg added. “The question is: how can we be sure they will lead to a better set of safety outcomes?”

While self-driving technology had “a lot of promise”, he warned: “We just have to make sure it’s done responsibly”.

Tesla’s Autopilot feature is intended for use on highways, while Full Self-Driving mode can work in urban settings and allows the vehicle to change lanes, recognize stop signs and traffic lights, as well as than to park.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk previously said the software could eventually work completely autonomously and be safer than human drivers. He argues that fully self-driving cars are Tesla’s future.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has investigated numerous crashes involving Tesla’s advanced driver assistance systems since 2021. In March, the safety agency opened another investigation following reports that the steering wheel of the Tesla Model Y could fall off while driving.

NHTSA is also investigating whether the driver of a Tesla that hit a high school student in April was using assisted driving technology at the time.

NHTSA, Tesla and Buttigieg’s office did not respond to Insider’s requests for comment.


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