Tesla Vision transition results in confusion over Autopilot safety features


Tesla’s transition to its Tesla Vision system without radar on new Model 3 and Model Y is resulting in confusion over the availability of Autopilot safety features as the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) updates its safety report on those electric vehicles.

As we reported earlier this week, Tesla announced the transition to its “Tesla Vision” Autopilot without radar and it warned that it would result in limitations of some Autopilot features at first.

Tesla only mentioned limitations for Autosteer and Smart Summon.

The former is a standard feature and the latter is a feature available under Tesla’s Full Self-Driving package.

Using its Autopilot system, Tesla also delivers a lot of active safety features, like forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking.

The automaker didn’t mention that those features would be affected by the update.

However, NHTSA updated its website for Tesla Model 3 and Model Y stating that several of those active safety features are not standard on new vehicles produced after the April 27, 2021, which coincides with the Tesla Vision transition:

Now there’s a lot of confusion on whether or not these features are actually available in new Tesla Model 3 and Model Y being produced.

Reuters first reported on the change on NHTSA’s website:

The agency said Tesla briefed NHTSA on the production change.

But NHTSA also said:

The agency said it “only includes check marks for the model production range for the vehicles tested.”

Therefore, it could simply be that NHTSA hasn’t tested the new version of those vehicles yet.

A comment from Tesla could clear up the situation, but the automaker doesn’t have a press relations department in the US anymore.

Electrek’s Take

This is a bit confusing.

You have Tesla saying one thing and NHTSA telling us another, but Tesla apparently briefed NHTSA on the change, so we are assuming Tesla knows more than we do.

If safety features are affected by the change, even if just temporary like with Autosteer, I think Tesla should have included it in the original announcement.

Either way, we will know soon enough, as Tesla starts delivering those vehicles to consumers.

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