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Regulators in the US have questions about Elon Musk, who promises to drop the requirement for Tesla drivers to keep their hands on the wheel.

Published: 2023-01-10

Since 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has initiated more than 36 crash investigations involving Tesla vehicles with electronic assistants activated, including 19 fatalities. A tweet by Elon Musk on Dec. 31 promised in January to remove the requirement to keep hands on the wheel for drivers who have driven over 10,000 miles with FSD enabled.

In essence, Musk promised in a January Tesla EV software update to allow drivers with that mileage to “automatically” turn off hand control on the steering wheel. American regulators are already consulting with Tesla about the appropriateness of such changes in the current conditions.

At the same time, the department explained that the investigation against Tesla, which should confirm or deny the need for a recall of more than 830,000 electric vehicles sold in the United States, is being carried out at a normal pace, but so far NHTSA cannot give a deadline for completing the investigation. Electric vehicles of this brand several times collided with cars standing at the edge of the roadway with flashing beacons turned on at night. Regulators may force Tesla to fix this defect in the software.

In December 2021, Tesla had already been forced by the NHTSA to ban playing games on the dash display while driving, as it could be a distraction to the driver. A software update now only allows games to run when the vehicle is parked or charging. Appropriate changes were made to the software of about 580,000 machines sold in the United States.