Tesla Model 3. Photo: Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

U.S. safety regulators are looking into crashes and near-misses involving Tesla's new Smart Summon parking feature, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: If the software is found to be unsafe, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration could order a recall.

Background: The Smart Summon feature is part of a software update Tesla released last week for its vehicles.

  • Using their phones, drivers can call their car from a nearby parking space to pick them up.
  • CEO Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla owners used the Smart Summon feature 550,000 times in the first few days.
  • Some of them posted videos on social media showing near-accidents, with one car hitting a garage and others blocking traffic in crowded parking lots.

What they're saying: In response to media inquiries, NHTSA said it “is aware of reports related to Tesla’s Summon feature. We are in ongoing contact with the company and we continue to gather information. Safety is NHTSA’s top priority and the agency will not hesitate to act if it finds evidence of a safety-related defect.”

My thought bubble: Without any clear regulations on automated vehicles, the NHTSA needs to crack down on beta-testing such features on the public.

Go deeper

39 mins ago - Podcasts

The art and business of political polling

The election is just eight days away, and it’s not just the candidates whose futures are on the line. Political pollsters, four years after wrongly predicting a Hillary Clinton presidency, are viewing it as their own judgment day.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the polls, and what pollsters have changed since 2016, with former FiveThirtyEight writer and current CNN politics analyst Harry Enten.

Twitter launches warnings on election misinformation and delays

Photo: courtesy of Twitter

Twitter will start pinning notices to the top of all U.S. Twitter users’ timelines warning that results in next week’s election may be delayed and that they may encounter misinformation on mail-in voting.

Why it matters: Delayed election results are expected across many states that are handling unprecedented amounts of absentee and mailed ballots, which President Trump has baselessly called "very dangerous" and "corrupt."

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
3 hours ago - Science

NASA confirms water exists on sunny parts of the Moon

Photo: NASA/JPL/USGS

Water on the Moon might be more easily accessible than previously thought, opening up new possible avenues for future human exploration, according to a new study.

Why it matters: NASA is aiming to send people back to the Moon as part of its Artemis program by 2024, with plans to eventually create a sustainable presence on the lunar surface. That sustainability relies on mining the moon for its resources, like water.