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Tesla reports 2 recent fatal crashes involving Autopilot system

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Elon Musk’s Tesla told US auto safety regulators it has reports of two recent crash fatalities in Model 3 cars tied to advanced driver assistance systems within the month ending Oct. 15, data released Tuesday by the federal government shows.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in June began releasing data provided by automakers on reports of crashes tied to driver assistance systems like Tesla’s Autopilot.

“NHTSA has reviewed these crashes and is conducting appropriate follow-up. NHTSA uses many data sources in its enforcement processes,” the agency said Tuesday.

NHTSA issued an order in June 2021 requiring automakers and tech firms to instantly report all crashes involving advanced driver assistance systems and vehicles equipped with automated driving systems tested on public roads. The protection regulator said Tuesday it uses data submitted by automakers under its 2021 order as a part of its investigations.

Of the 18 fatal crashes reported since July 2021 that needed to do with driver assistance systems, nearly all involved Tesla vehicles.

The agency has emphasized crashes are tracked by individual automakers in other ways and discouraged comparisons of performance amongst automakers partly as a consequence of lack of comprehensive metrics to trace how widely each system is used or how crashes are reported.

Individually, since 2016, NHTSA has opened 38 special investigations of crashes involving Tesla vehicles where advanced driver assistance systems corresponding to Autopilot were suspected of getting used. Overall, 19 crash deaths have been reported in those Tesla-related investigations.

Tesla didn’t reply to a request for comment.

It has said Autopilot allows vehicles to brake and steer mechanically inside their lanes but doesn’t make them able to driving themselves.

In June, NHTSA upgraded its defect investigation into 830,000 Tesla vehicles with Autopilot, a required step before it could seek a recall.

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