Tesla Investigated over Phantom Braking—416,000 Vehicles Concerned

  • The Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration introduced this week it has opened an investigation into over 400,000 Teslas—all 2021 and 2022 mannequin 12 months Tesla Mannequin 3 and Mannequin Y electrical autos—for issues with their automated emergency braking methods.
  • This isn’t the primary time Tesla has needed to take care of NHTSA about its probably defective AEB expertise. In October, Tesla recalled virtually 12,000 of its EVs as a result of an over-the-air replace brought about communication issues between two chips that assist run the AEB methods.
  • Different automakers, together with Nissan and autonomous shuttle firm EasyMile, have additionally had issues with their AEB methods.

    New applied sciences can result in new issues, for which we typically need to invent new terminologies. Within the automotive world, the rising variety of automobiles with automated emergency brake functionality has led to one thing known as “phantom braking,” which is when the AEB system thinks it must brake with a purpose to forestall a collision, however there’s really nothing there to hit.

    This week, the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) stated it has acquired 354 complaints from Tesla drivers regarding these surprising computerized braking incidents over the previous 9 months. NHTSA stated that Tesla drivers have reported “that the fast deceleration can happen with out warning, at random, and infrequently repeatedly in a single drive cycle.”

    The difficulty probably impacts round 416,000 autos, all 2021 and 2022 Tesla Mannequin 3 and Mannequin Y electrical autos, and the rise in complaints broadly tracks Tesla’s shift away from multi-sensor notion methods that use each radar and cameras to the brand new Tesla Imaginative and prescient system that depends solely on cameras. Since Could 2021, Tesla has not put in radar sensors in its Mannequin 3 and Mannequin Y automobiles constructed for the North American market. Tesla CEO Elon Musk nonetheless champions the camera-only system, tweeting final December that “Whereas radar has bother seeing small pedestrians, they’re apparent to Tesla Imaginative and prescient.” NHTSA’s Workplace of Defects Investigation has opened a Preliminary Analysis into the problem and stated it’s not conscious of any crashes or accidents associated to the problem.

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    This isn’t the primary time that NHTSA has seemed into Tesla’s phantom braking drawback. Final October, NHTSA introduced Tesla would recall some 2017–2021 Mannequin S, Mannequin 3, Mannequin X, and 2020–2021 Mannequin Y autos (a complete of 11,728 models) as a result of a “communication error could trigger false forward-collision warning (FCW) or surprising activation of the automated emergency brake (AEB) system.”

    NHTSA stated on the time that the issue was an over-the-air software program replace that launched a communication drawback between two onboard chips when the car would come out of Sentry mode or Summon Standby mode. At these occasions, one of many chips might stay in a low-power “sleep” state, NHTSA stated, with the impact that the video neural networks that function on one of many chips then wouldn’t accurately talk with the opposite chip after which “run much less constantly than anticipated.” When this occurred, an affected car might incorrectly establish objects round it, and this occurred sufficient occasions that Tesla drivers quickly reported a noticeable improve within the variety of issues with forward-collision warnings and AEB occasions. Tesla informed NHTSA it resolved the problem with a follow-up OTA replace.

    Tesla isn’t the one automaker going through questions over phantom braking issues. In 2020, autonomous shuttle operator EasyMile was compelled to droop operations when considered one of its autos injured a passenger in an abrupt cease. In 2019, NHTSA seemed into phantom braking issues in 2017–2018 Nissan Rogue SUVs following driver complaints. NHTSA introduced in late 2020 that it was working with 20 automakers on a voluntary foundation to make low-speed AEB and forward-collision-warning methods normal on “virtually all new passenger autos” by August 31, 2023.

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    Patrick Moore

    Patrick is our chief editor and he's very passionate about cars. He has a bachelor's degree in marketing and he studies journalism. His favorite brand is BMW and he drives an X5 series. When he's not writing for Vehiclenews.net, he enjoys spending time with his family and 9 years old son.

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