Over the past three months, roughly 107 Tesla drivers have reported that their vehicle is making sudden stops — also known as ‘Phantom Braking’ — while driving in autopilot mode.
Phantom Breaking occurs when an autonomous vehicle falsely detects an object on the road or an oncoming vehicle and hits the brakes to avoid a potential collision. While the safety mechanism is useful when in a hazardous situation, it can be especially dangerous if another vehicle is tailgating you.
While the problem isn’t new given there have been reports regarding phantom braking since November, the issue is only now receiving mainstream attention following a Washington Post report, causing a drop in the electric vehicle maker’s shares.
According to the report, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received a surge in complaints lodged by Tesla owners regarding Phantom Braking over the past three months, compared to only 34 complaints in the preceding 22 months.
Many suspect that the problem has become worse since Tesla ditched its radar tech to solely use camera vision to detect nearby objects and other vehicles.
Pure vision Autopilot is now rolling out in North America. There will be an update of this production release in 2 weeks, then FSD beta V9.0 (also pure vision) a week later. FSD subscription will be enabled around the same time.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 26, 2021
This is the latest in a string of safety issues plaguing Tesla vehicles. Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) raised concerns regarding over 53,000 Tesla vehicles being programmed to roll through stop signs,
These vehicles will now receive an over-the-air (OTA) software update that will disable the vehicles from autonomously performing a rolling stop through a stop sign.
In other Tesla-related news, Elon Musk says Canadians can expect Tesla Full-Self Driving Beta to drop in February.
Source: Washington Post