Tesla is switching to self-driving. But can automatic safety regulators keep pace?

Illustration by Elias Stein

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Autonomous driving systems are increasingly sophisticated. But auto safety regulators can fall behind.

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as usual, is found in the middle. Tesla is being sued in Texas after a driver who police say was intoxicated collided with officers in his Tesla vehicle. The lawsuit accuses the car’s autonomous driving system because it is unable to identify vehicles, such as police cars, with flashing lights. “Officers seek compensation for their injuries and $ 10 million in punitive damages, claiming faulty autopilot system has been known to Tesla and founder Elon Musk for years,” a law firm statement reads. representing officers. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

A judge can decide the issue. Tesla’s autonomous driving features can’t handle all situations, including traffic stops, although it does work. This is why drivers are expected to be fully engaged at all times. Still, regulators and Congress continue to voice concerns about autonomous driving, right down to Tesla’s current system name, Autopilot, which they say suggests drivers don’t need to be careful. After all, Volvo’s partially autonomous system is called Pilot Assist,

General Motors

is Super Cruise, and

Ford engine

is Croisière Bleue. Tesla’s most advanced system is, like Musk, more blunt: Full Self Driving, or FSD.

Tesla recently rolled out the latest version of its FSD software. Test pilots gain more advanced functionality by achieving high safety scores. (The tracking system can also be used to price Tesla insurance deals.) Good idea, but Tesla caused another mess when it demanded FSD drivers sign nondisclosure agreements about their experience with the system.

Monday 04/10


is hosting a conference call to discuss new clinical trial data for its portfolio of inflammation drugs.

Tuesday 05/10


publishes its results for the third quarter of fiscal 2021.

The Office of the Economy The analysis shows sales of light vehicles for September. Cox Automotive is forecasting a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 12.1 million vehicles sold, one million lower than in August. If the estimate turns out to be correct, it would be the slowest pace in auto sales since May 2020 and down 26% from last September. Car sales have been hampered by the lack of stocks of new vehicles.

The Institute of Supply Management releases its Service Purchasing Managers Index for September. The consensus estimate is for a reading of 59, more than two points below the August figure.

Wednesday 10/6

ADP publishes its National Employment report for September. Economists predict an increase of 475,000 jobs in the private sector, after adding 374,000 jobs in August.

Constellation brands


Levi Strauss

declare earnings.

Wholesale Costco

reports sales data for September.

Marvell technology

organizes a virtual investor day.

Thursday 10/7

Conagra brands


Lamb Weston Holdings

hold conference calls to discuss quarterly results.

Leidos Holdings

organizes an investor day.


holds a meeting of financial analysts. CEO Raghu Raghuram will be part of the management team on-site to discuss the company’s strategy and products.

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hosts its annual meeting of shareholders. Power of attorney consultancy

Institutional shareholder services

recently recommended investors vote against the re-election of James Murdoch and Kimbal Musk to Tesla’s board of directors. ISS raised concerns about the excessive compensation of the NEOs and non-executive directors. James Murdoch is the son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corp, who owns that of Barron. Kimbal Musk is the brother of Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla.

The Ministry of Labor reports the first jobless claims for the week ending October 2. For September, jobless claims were on average 340,000 per week, the lowest since the start of the pandemic, but still high from pre-pandemic levels.

Friday 08/10

The labor office Statistics release the employment report for September. The economy is expected to have added 425,000 jobs, following an increase of 235,000 in August. The unemployment rate is expected to fall to 5.1% from 5.2%. About 5.3 million jobs are still missing since the start of the pandemic.

Write to Al Root at [email protected]

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