Tesla’s self-driving software commits rolling stops

On Behalf of | Feb 11, 2022 | Firm News |

Rolling through stop signs is a bad habit for many drivers, but it is an unacceptable risk if Tesla’s full self-driving software does it. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a recall on January 27, 2022. The rolling stop allows the vehicle to, according to the safety recall report, “pass through all-way-stop intersections at speeds up to 5.6 miles per hour before coming to complete stop if certain conditions are met.”

Conditions for a rolling stop

All the following are conditions that must be met for not stopping:

  1. The rolling stop functionality must be enabled within the profile settings.
  2. The vehicle approaches an all-way stop.
  3. The vehicle must travel below 5.6 mph.
  4. There are no other relevantly moving vehicles detected near the intersection.
  5. There are no relevantly moving bicyclists or pedestrians.
  6. There is sufficient visibility when approaching the intersection.
  7. All roads passing through the intersection have 30 mph or less speed limits.

Which vehicles effected

The recall involves 53,822 vehicles, including Model S and Model X 2016 to 2022, Model 3 2017 to 2022 and Model Y 2020 to 2022. All these recalled electric vehicles operate the firmware release 2020.40.4.10 or newer with Full Self-Driving (Beta). The manufacturer uploaded it to vehicles on October 20, 2020.

According to Tesla, the manufacturer is not aware of any injuries caused by the software functionality, but it is investigating one complaint where the rolling stop function caused a crash. It also announced that the vehicles are “beta testing,” and drivers must be ready to take control of the cars at any time. The manufacturer says it will send out a software update in early February, which it will do remotely.

It’s still a flaw

NHTSA says that rolling stops increase the likelihood of a crash. Regardless of being intentional, the software is considered defective, just as with any part of the vehicle that increases the risk of injury to drivers and passengers.