NTSB head criticizes Tesla’s self-driving features, calls them ‘misleading’

The head of the U.S. Nationwide Transportation Basic safety Board on Tuesday doubled down on criticisms of Tesla’s driver-help systems subsequent many lethal crashes in new yrs, calling the company’s use of “Complete Self-Driving” for its most recent devices “deceptive.”

The reviews arrive a working day following NTSB Chairwoman Jennifer Homendy sent a letter to Tesla CEO Elon Musk about the company’s failure to answer to recommendations issued by the basic safety watchdog 4 yrs back to restrict the system’s performance and implement a lot more stringent safeguards to keep track of driver disengagement.

“It really is distinct that if you happen to be marketing and advertising a little something as total self-driving and it is not complete self-driving, and men and women are misusing the vehicles and the know-how, but you have a layout flaw and you have to reduce that misuse,” Homendy said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “And component of that is how you discuss about your know-how. It is not total self-driving. … It is deceptive.”

Homendy stated Tesla has not however officially responded to the NTSB relating to its basic safety recommendations. She also claimed she has not satisfied Musk, but she has visited Tesla’s plant in California and has driven a car with Autopilot, made available by Tesla.

The letter as effectively as other security probes into Tesla crashes by the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Basic safety Administration have had small affect on the company’s inventory price. On Monday, Tesla’s marketplace value strike $1 trillion. The inventory closed Monday up by 12.66% at about $1,024 a share.

The NTSB at this time has 10 investigations into Tesla fires and crashes, Homendy claimed Tuesday. Three or 4 are open up investigations, she reported.

Tesla’s driver-support devices are marketed as Autopilot, Whole Self-Driving and FSD Beta in the U.S. Nonetheless, Tesla does not make self-driving autos, and the enterprise warns motorists in owners’ manuals to continue to keep their fingers on the wheel and “be organized to acquire around at any second.”

Total Self-Driving is promoted with the promise of enabling a Tesla to mechanically change lanes, navigate on the highway, and move into or roll out of a parking place. FSD Beta gives drivers a prospect to check an unfinished “autosteer on town streets” feature, which allows them to instantly navigate all-around surface area streets and city environments with out going the steering wheel with their possess palms.

“My major problem is that Tesla is rolling out whole self-driving know-how in beta on metropolis streets with untrained motorists and they have not addressed our suggestions that we have issued as a consequence of a lot of investigations of Tesla crashes,” Homendy mentioned Tuesday.

Homendy’s criticisms adhere to Tesla pinpointing issues with its most current update, referred to as Comprehensive Self-Driving Beta v.10.3, above the weekend and it scrambled to revise it following its original launch.

The NTSB does not have regulatory authority like the Nationwide Highway Site visitors Protection Administration. It is an independent federal company billed by Congress with investigating civil aviation accidents in the U.S. and important incidents in other modes of transportation these kinds of as automotive. It then suggests steps for organizations to choose to prevent potential incidents.

Tesla did not answer to a request for remark.

— CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.