Jan 19, 2017

NHTSA doesn't recall Tesla Autopilot after crash

Mario R. Duran Ortiz and Steve Jervenson via Wikimedia Commons

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration closed its six-month probe into the Tesla Model S that was involved in a deadly collision with a semi-truck nearly two years ago and is not requesting a recall, according to the report released today.

The findings: The data shows the Autopilot was on at the time of the crash, but the Automatic Emergency Breaking system did not recognize the semi-truck. The driver did not brake from his 74 miles-per-hour speed, either. Elon Musk released updates to Autopilot in 2016 to correct the safety deficits. The NHTSA accounted for Musk's updates and determined that "a safety-related defect trend has not been identified at this time."

Between the lines: Musk has continually stressed that its Autopilot is not fully autonomous and drivers must still pay attention, and the NHTSA said Tesla was "not as specific as it could be" in warning drivers of this vulnerability. The lesson companies can learn from this investigation is that they should more clearly communicate that their their "autonomous" systems still require some human engagement. Even though the agency didn't recall the vehicles or the software this time, it has the authority to recall either if there are safety concerns, according to its web site.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 1,094,068 — Total deaths: 58,773 — Total recoveries: 225,519Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 273,880 — Total deaths: 7,077 — Total recoveries: 9,521Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
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Government will cover uninsured patients' coronavirus treatment

Azar at Friday's briefing. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The federal government will cover the costs of coronavirus treatment for the uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at a White House briefing Friday.

How it works: The money will come from a $100 billion pot set aside for the health care industry in the most recent stimulus bill. Providers will be paid the same rates they get for treating Medicare patients, and as a condition of those payments, they won't be allowed to bill patients for care that isn't covered.

More states issue stay-at-home orders as coronavirus crisis escalates

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a stay-at-home order on Friday as the novel coronavirus pandemic persists. The order goes into effect Saturday at 5 p.m. and will remain in place through April 30. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson also issued a statewide social distancing order on Friday.

The big picture: In a matter of weeks, the number of states that issued orders nearly quadrupled, affecting almost 300 million Americans.

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