European Safety Regulators Want To Keep An Eye On Tesla's Autopilot

Tesla Model S operating on autopilot 1 photo
Photo: Tesla Motors
Tesla’ Autopilot system is under the watchful eyes of the NHTSA, while the U.S. Senate is also reportedly interested in discovering what went wrong in the worst accident involving the system.
After all the buzz created by the fatal Tesla Model S crash that took place on May 7, and discussions which followed the incident, European safety regulators are reportedly interested in discovering more about the system. According to several reports, Holland’s vehicle regulatory agency, called RDW, has begun an “informal exchange of information” with the NHTSA.

Along with the discussion started with the NHTSA, the RDW is also talking to Tesla Motors representatives. They want to look into the system, and the regulatory body must be sure that Autopilot is safe to use, as long as it is operated correctly.

Tesla has received European approval of roadworthiness from the RDW, as this organization is responsible for certification for all of Europe so that you can understand the agency’s concerns regarding the system.

However, the RDW does not seem to want to shut down Autopilot. Instead, the regulatory body believes the system is similar to many others that are allowed for multiple automakers, and the functionalities of the tech are not dangerous to its users or other traffic participants.

Hans Lammers, RDW’s manager for vehicle certification and supervision, explained in an interview with Reuters that he thinks that “there is nothing wrong with Autopilot if it is correctly used.” Lammers was the one to say that Tesla’s Autopilot is not much different from other systems approved for use on European roads.

As with other smart cruise control technologies, Tesla asked drivers to keep at least one hand on the steering wheel. In the case of equivalent systems from other OEMs, the system deactivates its operation and “cuts” the throttle when it discovers that a user’s hands are not on the wheel.

At the same time, Germany’s KBA, the Federal Office of Motor Vehicles, has stated for the Welt am Sonntag paper that it would not have approved Tesla’s Autopilot system if it were up to them. The KBA explained that this point of view only applies if the “beta-phase” means that the system is incomplete, Autoblog notes.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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