The United States will investigate Tesla's autopilot system after a series of crashes.

A Tesla Model S crashed into a fire truck on Interstate 405 in Culver City, California, in 2018. A government report said the Tesla dr...


A Tesla Model S crashed into a fire truck on Interstate 405 in Culver City, California, in 2018. A government report said the Tesla driver was using the car's autopilot system.
Credit…KCBS-TV, via Associated Press

The federal government’s main auto safety agency has launched an official investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot driver assistance system due to growing concerns that he may not see parked emergency vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was aware of 11 accidents since 2018 in which Tesla vehicles operating under autopilot control collided with fire trucks, police cars and other vehicles with flashing lights that were stopped along roadsides. Seven of these accidents resulted in a total of 17 injuries and one death.

“Most of the incidents took place after dark and the accident scenes encountered included scene control measures such as first responder vehicle fires, flares, an illuminated arrow sign and traffic cones. route, “the security agency said in a summary of the investigation.

The new investigation appears to be the broadest examination to date of how autopilot works and its flaws. It could ultimately be used by the security agency to force Tesla to recall cars and make system changes.

A critical issue investigators will focus on is how the autopilot ensures that Tesla drivers pay attention to the road. The company’s owner’s manuals instruct drivers to keep their hands on the wheel, but the system continues to work even if drivers only occasionally tap the steering wheel.

General Motors has a similar system, called Super Cruise, which allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel, but uses an infrared camera to monitor drivers’ eyes to make sure they are looking at the road.

The security agency will also look at how the autopilot identifies objects on the road and where the autopilot can be activated. Tesla tells drivers to use the system only on divided highways, but they can use it on city streets. GM’s system uses GPS positioning to restrict its use to major highways that do not have oncoming or cross traffic, intersections, pedestrians or cyclists.

Tesla’s autopilot system appears to have difficulty detecting and braking for parked cars generally including passenger cars and trucks without flashing lights. In July, for example, Tesla crashed into parked sport utility vehicle at the site of a previous accident. The driver had the autopilot on and fell asleep and then failed a field sobriety test, the California Highway Patrol said.

The security agency’s investigation will cover Tesla Y, X, S and 3 models from the 2014 to 2021 model years, totaling 765,000 cars, a vast majority of the cars the company made in the United States during this period.

The agency has already opened investigations into more than two dozen accidents involving Tesla cars and an autopilot. The agency said eight of those crashes resulted in a total of 10 fatalities. These investigations aim to delve into the details of individual cases in order to provide data and information that the agency and automakers can use to improve safety or identify problems.

Tesla and its chief executive, Elon Musk, dismissed safety concerns about autopilot and claimed the system made its cars safer than others on the road. But the company has recognized that the system can sometimes fail to recognize stopped emergency vehicles.

Safety experts, videos posted on social media, and Tesla drivers themselves have documented some of the weaknesses of autopilot. In some crashes involving the system, Teslas drivers have been found asleep at the wheel or were awake but distracted or disengaged. A Californian was arrested in May after get out of the driver’s seat of your Tesla while on autopilot; he was sitting in the back of her car as she crossed the Bay Bridge, which connects San Francisco and Oakland.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which has investigated a few accidents involving autopilot, said last year that the company’s “ineffective monitoring of driver engagement” contributed to a 2018 accident that killed Wei Huang, the driver of a Model X that collided with a freeway barrier in Mountain View, California. “It’s time to stop allowing drivers of any partially automated vehicle to pretend they have driverless cars,” said Robert L. Sumwalt, chairman of the board. year.

Lina Khan, President of the Federal Trade Commission.
Credit…Pool photo by Graeme Jennings

Antitrust activity is heat this summer. New bipartite legislation targeting Big Techs has been just appeared in the Senate, and federal agencies have taken a skeptical stance on reaching deals. “I think antitrust agencies should more frequently consider opposing problematic deals outright,” said Lina Khan, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, written in a letter to Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, released last week.

The harsh speech advances the position of the Biden administration, expressed in a radical executive decree last month, that the crackdown on consolidation protects consumers, markets and workers. But some antitrust lawyers, including former regulators, have said the DealBook newsletter that they feared that this position would chill legitimate deals and give authorities the impression that approving any merger is politically burdensome.

Monthly Merger Notifications to the Federal Trade Commission

Mergers are increasing in “astonishing” numbers, the FTC said recently. A “tidal wave” of deposits has strained resources, and the agency is adjust its pre-merger review process, telling businesses to close at their own risk after the usual 30-day review period, as transactions may then be considered illegal. The agency may already challenge the deals made, but the initial review framework aims to minimize that insecurity, Christine Wilson, one of the two Republican FTC commissioners, written in a press release. She said the FTC’s altered process could be motivated as much by politics as it is by increased merger activity.

“The FTC is a law enforcement agency, not a buffer,” Lindsay Kryzak, director of public affairs for the commission, told DealBook via email. “Market participants should be aware that there are consequences to proposing potentially illegal deals. “

“What concerns me is that it is the government making the threats,” said Noah Joshua Phillips, the other Republican commissioner. He doubts that antitrust policy can deliver the kind of social change the Biden administration is looking for. He suggested that forces like globalization and international trade, rather than corporate consolidation, are boosting the economy and the labor market.

Jonathan Kanter, the candidate for the head of Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, awaits confirmation from the Senate. Once the division has a leader, the Justice Department and the FTC are expected to coordinate on new merger review guidelines. That, Mr Phillips said, would be “a big deal”.

The cost of coffee beans rose nearly 44% in 2021, driven by extreme weather conditions in Brazil, pandemic bottlenecks and political protests that have blocked exports from Colombia.

This is not yet a problem for Starbucks or NestlĂ©, coffee giants who stock up well in advance and won’t have to deal with price hikes for a year or more. But some smaller roasters have already had to increase their prices, and others expect to, Coral Murphy Marcos reports for the New York Times.

Quincy Henry, co-owner of Campfire Coffee in Tacoma, Wash., Remembers when Brazilian Arabica beans were among the cheapest he could buy, locking them in for $ 1.90 a pound. His last order, at the end of July from the same importer, cost him $ 2.49 a pound.

Behind this increase is an increase in the price of beans that will be delivered to roasters in months. These “coffee futures” serve as a benchmark for buyers around the world. A pound of arabica beans on the futures market, typically $ 1.20 to $ 1.40, broke above $ 2 in late July, the highest since 2014. On Wednesday, the coffee futures price was 1.84 $ per pound.

While weeks of politics protests rocked Colombia, he exported 345,000 60-kilo bags of coffee in May, only a third of its usual monthly shipment, according to data from the National Nonprofit Federation of Colombian Coffee Growers.

Colombia’s exports have since rebounded, but those of other big producers, like Vietnam, have been slowed by shipping bottlenecks as the global economy struggles to reopen after a year of lockdown. A shortage of shipping containers has restricted exports, analysts say, and has also caused shipping costs to rise sharply.

Brazil has been hit by a series of climatic shocks, including a drought. Temperatures last month fell below 27 degrees Fahrenheit, about half of normal. READ THE FULL ARTICLE →





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Newsrust - US Top News: The United States will investigate Tesla's autopilot system after a series of crashes.
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