The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched an investigation into Tesla's Autopilot software, citing repeated vehicle collisions with parked emergency vehicles.
The NHTSA investigation will affect Tesla Models Y, X, S and 3 vehicles manufactured between 2014 and 2021. The federal agency says it has documented 11 incidents since 2018 (in which 17 people were injured and one died) in which Tesla vehicles using the company's autopilot features, such as traffic-aware cruise control, crashed into stationary emergency vehicles.
The agency says most of these incidents occurred after dark, with the software ignoring traffic control measures, including warning lights, flares, cones and arrow lights.
The NHTSA has increased its focus on Tesla in recent months as the company's Autopilot software has been the subject of a growing number of accidents. Many industry experts have criticized Tesla for marketing the software, which often suggests that human control of the vehicle is unnecessary.
In April, senators called on NHTSA to take "corrective action" against Tesla and prevent abuse of its driving assistance software, and in June the agency issued new rules requiring companies like Alphabet's Tesla and Waymo to report all incidents involving such systems.