USA Today reports:“It wasn’t ready to go out on the road,” said Rosemary Shahan, president of the advocacy group Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety about Tesla’s Autopilot. “If you have a system called Autopilot that cannot distinguish between the side of a truck and the open sky, it’s not ready.”….“The tragic Tesla crash shows again the need for aggressive oversight of an industry that has implemented new systems before they are truly tried and tested, ” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn, in a statement. “Whatever the promise of self-driving cars, automakers have failed at even simpler technologies, like ignition switches and air bags.”….
“No manufacturer should ever put a beta system on the road and make consumers the test drivers,” said Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety. Other automakers put millions of miles on major safety systems before they are deemed ready for prime time, he says, including many hours at their own test tracks.
Ditlow said NHTSA’s lack of a regulation on self-driving car features amounts to a “loophole” that Tesla exploited.
“If you look at any car, there’s a certification label that says ‘this vehicle meets all applicable safety standards’ and you can’t sell it unless you certify that it does,” Ditlow said. In this case, there were none of those standards in place.”