US agency opens formal probe into Tesla Autopilot system

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government has opened a formal investigation into Tesla's Autopilot partially automated driving system, saying it has trouble spotting parked emergency vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the action Monday in a posting on its website.

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The agency says it has identified 11 crashes since 2018 in which Teslas on Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control have hit vehicles with flashing lights, flares, an illuminated arrow board or cones warning of hazards.

The investigation covers the Models Y, X, S and 3 from the 2014 through 2021 model years.

Autopilot has frequently been misused by Tesla drivers, who have been caught driving drunk or even riding in the back seat while a car rolled down a California highway.

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