Skip to main content

European authorities take a closer look at Tesla Autopilot

tesla autopilot examined dutch regulators model s updates profile
The fatal May 7 crash of a Tesla Model S using the company’s Autopilot system has brought increased scrutiny from U.S. regulators and the media on the technology, which first became available back in October. Now European authorities are taking a closer look as well.

RDW, the Dutch vehicle regulatory agency, has entered into an “informal exchange” of information on the Tesla Autopilot crash with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), according to Reuters. The agency has also been in touch with Tesla. Officials will await the NHTSA’s conclusions before taking any action, Hans Lammers, RDW’s manager for vehicle admissions and supervision, said.

Related Videos

RDW issued the roadworthiness certificate for the Model S covering all of Europe, and Lammers said he had no existing safety concerns regarding Autopilot. He noted that the version of Autopilot available in Europe is different than the one used on the Model S involved in the U.S. crash. Tesla had to delay Autopilot’s European launch slightly due to regulatory issues.

Read more: Consumer Reports asks Tesla to turn off Autopilot

Tesla has said from the start that Autopilot is in the “public beta” testing stage, and Lammers confirmed that he had no issue with that either. That’s not an opinion shared by all European safety regulators, however. The German Federal Office for Motor Vehicles (KBA) recently said that, if it had had a choice, it would not have approved Autopilot because of the “beta” label. RDW had the final say in approving the Autopilot-equipped Model S for all of Europe, so the decision was out of KBA’s hands.

Officials would not have approved any software it viewed as incomplete in terms of functionality, a KBA statement to German newspaper Welt am Sonntag (via Reuters) said. The agency is also reportedly discussing Autopilot with Tesla, but has not opened a formal investigation into the technology.

The European inquiries add to the pressure Tesla is already experiencing over Autopilot. Two more crashes involving Autopilot have been reported since the announcement of the NHTSA investigation, although Tesla denies Autopilot was active in one. Tesla may also face a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) probe over whether it should have reported the fatal May 7 crash to its investors.

Editors' Recommendations

This $3 USB adapter fixed all of my Apple CarPlay connection problems
iPhone with USB-C cable and USB-A adapter.

I bought a new Jeep last year and was obviously adamant that it had CarPlay. It was also the first car I owned with a touch screen for CarPlay, which is a nice change of pace. But in the first couple of weeks of driving, I was increasingly frustrated: even though I was using a wired USB connection, my CarPlay kept disconnecting. Sporadically, and frequently.

I tried different phones. I tried using an official Apple Lightning cable -- USB-A and USB-C, as my car has both -- as well as various styles and lengths of third-party cables. Nothing worked. And then, I found an inexplicable fix: using a simple USB-A to USB-C adapter, which is just $9 for a three-pack .

Read more
BMW i4 vs. Tesla Model 3: Which EV sedan is better?
2022 BMW i4 M50

The BMW i4 and Tesla Model 3 are two of the hottest electric cars on the market today. Both vehicles offer a range of features designed to make driving easy and efficient, as well as attractive styling. But each has its advantages and disadvantages, and there is much that sets them apart in terms of performance, technology, convenience, and cost.

Deciding between the two? That's why we've put together this guide. Here are the differences and similarities between the Tesla Model 3 and BMW i4, and why you might want one over the other.

Read more
How much does an electric car battery cost?
electrify america evgo and chargepoint interoperability agreement for electric car charging station

Electric cars are often hailed as being cheaper to operate and repair than gas-powered cars. It makes sense — on the operation side, you only need to pay for electricity (not gasoline), and on the repair side, there’s no motor or transmission to deal with.

But electric cars have other costly repairs, and while in total they do generally cost less than repairs for gasoline cars, it’s worth knowing about the potential costs ahead of time. Perhaps the most obvious, and one of the most costly, has to do with an electric car’s battery. After all, while all cars have batteries, those in electric cars are far bigger and more advanced — and thus can cost quite a bit to replace.
How much does an electric car battery cost?

Read more