On New Year’s Eve, Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded to a tweet from @WholeMarsBlog, which tracks EV news. The account tagged Musk and said, “users with more than 10,000 miles on FSD Beta should be given the option to turn off the steering wheel nag.” Musk replied, “Agreed, update coming in Jan.”
That brief answer could cause him trouble with federal regulators.
Agreed, update coming in Jan
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 31, 2022
The Associated Press (AP) reported Monday that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it was in touch with Tesla regarding the tweet.
More from the AP:
Last week, the agency said the issue is now part of a broader investigation into at least 14 Teslas that have crashed into emergency vehicles while using the Autopilot driver assist system.
Since 2021, Tesla has been beta-testing “Full Self-Driving” using owners who haven’t been trained on the system but are actively monitored by the company. Earlier this year, Tesla said 160,000, roughly 15% of Teslas now on U.S. roads, were participating. A wider distribution of the software was to be rolled out late in 2022.
Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) and Autopilot have features that alert drivers to keep their hands on the wheel. The software can switch off if they don’t. Some Teslas also have internal cameras in the cabin to alert distracted or sleepy drivers so they can get off the road if needed.
Whether Tesla will eventually allow users to disable these features isn’t clear, but the company can modify or disable them remotely. Owners can expect the next FSD update sometime later this coming month.