The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released its full findings following the investigation into last year’s fatal crash involving a driver’s use of Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot feature. The report clears Tesla’s Autopilot system of any fault in the incident, and in fact at multiple points within the report praises its design in terms of safety, and highlights its impact on lowering the number of traffic incidents involving Tesla vehicles overall.
The full report is embedded below, but some sections of note include a section where NHTSA notes that crash rates involving Tesla cars have dropped by almost 40 percent since the wide introduction of Autopilot. It also notes that its investigation did not find any defects in the design or implementation of Tesla’s automatic emergency braking systems (AEB) or its Autopilot cruise features. The report also states that Tesla properly anticipated the potential for driver misuse in the design of Autopilot, studied those potential effects and incorporated it into the product’s final design before broad rollout.
It’s essentially as good as result as Tesla can have hoped for from the U.S. traffic safety agency’s investigation, which took place over the last six months. Reuters reported earlier on Thursday that the investigation would not result in a recall of Tesla vehicles, but the full findings show that in fact, the federal regulatory body found plenty to praise while conducting its inquiry.
The investigation does conclude with a minor admonition that Tesla could perhaps be more specific about its system limitations in its driver-assist features, but acknowledges that all required information is present and available to drivers and vehicle owners.
Tesla issued the following official statement regarding the end of NHTSA’s investigation and its findings:
At Tesla, the safety of our customers comes first, and we appreciate the thoroughness of NHTSA’s report and its conclusion.