Tesla fans, Musk lash out at NHTSA safety advisor as biased


Cummings in 2020 called it laughable that Tesla had promoted the era as the year of the robotaxi, saying that her lab’s experiments showed Autopilot 'was not even close to being ready'. —Bloomberg

Elon Musk and thousands of Tesla Inc’s die-hard fans and customers are in an uproar about NHTSA’s new pick as its senior safety advisor.

Their target is Mary "Missy” Cummings, a Duke University professor critical of Tesla’s Autopilot software who was chosen this week for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration role. The former US Navy pilot is also on the board of Veoneer, a Swedish company that is being acquired by Qualcomm Inc. Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer, has scorned the laser-based technology called lidar that’s promoted by Veoneer and has been adopted by rival automakers.

"Objectively, her track record is extremely biased against Tesla,” Musk wrote in a Twitter post Tuesday.

By Wednesday afternoon, more than 11,800 Tesla supporters had signed a petition on Change.org urging President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, NHTSA and the Office of Personnel Management to review the appointment.

Cummings responded to Musk with a tweet of her own, saying she would be "happy to sit down and talk with you anytime.” She declined to comment when reached.

NHTSA has launched several crash investigations into Tesla’s Autopilot technology. In August, the agency opened a defect investigation that focuses on Autopilot and crashes into fire trucks, police cars and first responder scenes.

Cummings in 2020 called it laughable that Tesla had promoted the era as the year of the robotaxi, saying that her lab’s experiments showed Autopilot "was not even close to being ready.” It’s only in recent weeks that Tesla has been rolling out a beta version of what it calls "FSD,” for Full Self Driving, software to select customers and employees.

"We expect and embrace the scrutiny of these products and know the truth about the performance will ultimately be all that matters,” Lars Moravy, Tesla’s vice president of engineering, said when asked about the situation on Wednesday’s earnings conference call.

Cummings would be considered a federal employee under the Ethics in Government Act, so any possible conflicts of interest will likely be resolved before she begins at NHTSA. The agency said it is "delighted to welcome Dr Cummings to our team and look forward to leveraging her experience and leadership in safety and autonomous technologies.” – Bloomberg

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Tech News

Spain's Cabify plans online grocery delivery in Latin America in 2022
Australia to raise possibility of more legislation on tech giants with new inquiry
Battery maker Factorial Energy enters investment deal with Daimler, Stellantis
JPMorgan to back KKR's 45 billion euro financing in TIM deal -paper
Zoom gets sued by Japanese company that stakes claim on name
Welcome to Musklandia: Austin adjusts to life with Tesla and its eccentric billionaire boss Elon Musk
UK watchdog orders Facebook owner Meta to sell Giphy
Unifi promises service restoration in 24 hours or RM50 billing rebate to customers
LG Energy Solution gets preliminary approval for IPO
South Korea set to delay crypto taxation by one year to begin in 2023

Others Also Read


Vouchers