The US is asking Tesla for information about the development and verification of whether the Autopilot recall worked

DETROIT – Federal traffic safety investigators want Tesla to tell them how and why the company developed the solution as part of a recall of more than 2 million vehicles equipped with the company’s partially automated driving system, Autopilot.

Investigators with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have concerns about whether the recall solution worked, as Tesla has reported 20 accidents since releasing the solution as an online software update in December.

In a message to Tesla posted on the agency’s website Tuesday, investigators wrote that they found no difference between warnings to drivers before the recall and after the new software was shipped. The agency said it will consider whether driver warnings are appropriate, particularly when a driver monitoring camera is covered.

The agency requested extensive information about how Tesla developed the solution, focusing on how the company used human behavior to test the effectiveness of the recall.

The 18-page letter asks how Tesla used the science of human behavior in developing Autopilot and how the company views the importance of evaluating human factors.

Tesla should also identify each workplace that is involved in evaluating human behavior and the qualifications of the workers. And it calls on Tesla to say whether the positions still exist.

Tesla is in the process of laying off about 10% of its workforce, about 14,000 people, to cut costs and address falling global sales. CEO Elon Musk tells Wall Street that the company is more of a artificial intelligence and robotics company instead of an automaker.

NHTSA said it will evaluate the “importance and scope” of Autopilot controls to combat misuse, confusion and use in areas for which the system is not designed.

It also said that Tesla has stated that owners can decide whether they want to opt-in to parts of the recall and that it allows drivers to undo parts of it.

Safety advocates have long expressed concern that Autopilot, which can keep a vehicle in its lane and maintain a distance from objects in front of it, is not designed to operate on roads other than limited-access highways.

Tesla tells owners that despite its name, the system cannot drive itself and that drivers must be ready to intervene at all times.

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