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US Investigating Tesla’s Self Driving Cars After Crash

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The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating the Tesla Model Y’s autopilot after several accidents. Credit: Kevauto, CC BY-SA 4.0

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) started investigating a consumer report on Friday that indicates Tesla’s Model Y self-driving cars may be causing accidents.

A Tesla Model Y owner made a report with NHTSA on November 3 stating that they car started to drive recklessly while using its autopilot technology:

“While taking a left turn the car went into the wrong lane and I was hit by another driver in the lane next to my lane,” the owner added that the vehicle “gave an alert half way through the turn” and that the owner attempted to interfere with the autopilot “but the car by itself took control and forced itself into the incorrect lane,” causing the car to crash and take damage.

“NHTSA is aware of the consumer complaint in question and is in communication with the manufacturer to gather additional information,” a spokesperson for the agency said in a statement last week.

The technology used in the Tesla Model Y is the company’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta software. Although the feature’s name contains the phrase “full self driving,” Tesla has clarified that the technology is meant to only partially assist a driver and that the technology should be monitored by a “fully attentive driver.”

The company recalled over 10,000 of its vehicles this month due to a glitch in the software that could lead to miscommunications in the FSD Beta mode and potential accidents. The company later announced that 99.8% of the cars have been updated to amend this problem.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk sells 4.5 million of his shares in the company

Tesla’s high profile CEO Elon Musk sold 4.5 million of his shares in the company– worth $5 billion — this past Wednesday after he made a poll on Twitter asking users whether he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock.

Over 3 million Twitter users participated in the Tesla CEO’s poll the previous Saturday, with 57.9% of voters supporting his desire to sell ten percent of his stock. Musk is the largest shareholder in the company.

Musk’s move is directly connected to Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden’s latest plan to introduce more stringent taxes for the United Sates’ billionaires, targeting their investments, which are typically only taxed after being sold, and thus financially “realized.”

“Much has made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10 percent of my Tesla stock,” Musk wrote. Then he asked his followers, “Do you support this?”

Although Musk promised to “abide by the results” no matter what the outcome was, many experts believe that his Twitter poll was a stunt meant to spin the fact that he was queuing up to sell stock anyway, with one CNBC report stating that the CEO would be racked with $15 billion in taxes on his investments alone.

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