Tesla’s planned removal of the “steering wheel nag” that reminds drivers to hold the steering wheel while using the Full Self-Driving suite has gained the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) attention.
On December 31, @WholeMarsBlog suggested to CEO Elon Musk that, “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.”
WholeMarsBlog said in subsequent Tweets that “The experience is 10x better and it is still possible to use it safely holding the wheel without being nagged constantly about it.” This Tweet was published well before Musk’s response.
Agreed, update coming in Jan
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 31, 2022
Reuters initially reported the story. However, the NTHSA has confirmed to Teslarati that it is in contact with Tesla and is gathering additional information. The issue actually falls under the NHTSA’s current and ongoing investigation into Autopilot, which is investigating 830,000 vehicles with Autopilot and their instances of crashing into parked emergency vehicles.
“The investigation will assess the technologies and methods used to monitor, assist, and enforce the driver’s engagement with the dynamic driving task during Autopilot operation,” the NHTSA said.
Tesla still maintains that its vehicles, nor its Autopilot or FSD suites are fully autonomous. Drivers are required to remain attentive at all times when the vehicle is in motion:
“Autopilot is a hands-on driver assistance system that is intended to be used only with a fully attentive driver. It does not turn a Tesla into a self-driving car nor does it make a car autonomous.
Before enabling Autopilot, you must agree to “keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times” and to always “maintain control and responsibility for your car.” Once engaged, Autopilot will also deliver an escalating series of visual and audio warnings, reminding you to place your hands on the wheel if insufficient torque is applied. If you repeatedly ignore these warnings, you will be locked out from using Autopilot during that trip.”
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