Report: Tesla’s Latest Autopilot Update Doesn’t Fix Much

A wide-ranging recall might not fix the intended issues

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There's good news and bad news about Tesla's latest update...
Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

As The Verge and other news outlets revealed earlier this month, Tesla recently issued an update to its self-driving software to address a host of safety concerns around the feature in question. The update, The Verge reported, would have an impact on close to two million of Tesla’s vehicles, and came in response to an NHTSA recall notice dated December 12, 2023.

The good news is that Teslas are receiving this update. The bad news? It doesn’t seem to be anywhere near as effective as it should be.

That, at least, was the experience of The Washington Post‘s Geoffrey A. Fowler, who recounted his experience driving his Model Y after it had received the update. “In my first test drive of the updated Tesla,” Fowler wrote, “it blew through two stop signs without even slowing down.”

Fowler’s tests of the update also suggest that some of the measures implemented to make the Tesla’s self-driving features more attentive to whether or not a driver is paying attention aren’t actually working. “[M]y car drove through the city with my hands off the wheel for stretches of a minute or more,” he wrote. “I could even activate Autopilot after I placed a sticker over the car’s interior camera used to track my attention.”

The Recall Tesla Doesn’t Want to Make
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Fowler followed up with both Tesla and the NHTSA. The former did not respond to requests for comment; the latter told Fowler that their investigation of Tesla remains ongoing. Does this mean that we’re about to have an update to the update before long? If a safety update doesn’t make drivers or bystanders safer, that sounds inevitable.

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