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Recent news of how autonomous vehicle (AV) features are performing in real-world settings could set back timelines for scaled, commercial AV launches. Here are two recent incidents regarding AV technology that have been revealed recently.Tesla’s Smart Summon feature is under federal scrutiny after highly publicizedunderperformance. With the latest V10 software update, Teslas got the ability to maneuver in parking lots without a driver inside the car. While Tesla says the feature should only be used in “private parking lots and driveways” with the vehicle visible and within 200 feet of the user, there have been reports of Smart Summon putting people in dangerous situations. These incidents have led the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to track incidents of Smart Summon underperformance. The agency said it “will not hesitate to act if it finds evidence of a safety-related defect.”Pedestrian automatic emergency braking (PAEB) systems were found to performinconsistently by the AAA. For context, PAEB systems automatically apply a vehicle’s breaks when a pedestrian is sensed in the vehicle’s path. AAA’s PAEB study, which involved vehicles from multiple manufacturers, found vehicles were unable to avoid collisions in a startling share of instances. For example, none of the test vehicles were able to avoid a collision when encountering an adult immediately after a right-hand turn. And a collision occurred 80% of the time when vehicles traveling at 20 mph, encountered two adults alongside the road. This type of negative press could ultimately lead legislators — who are still working through AV regulations — to adopt stricter rules. AVs have become part of the agenda for governments all across the US, with lawmakers weighing 112 bills related to AVs in 2019 alone. This is likely to continue in 2020, as a number of US states still have yet to adopt AV legislation — around 29 state legislative bodies have already enacted AV legislation.And it’s an especially vulnerable time as US decision-makers are still in an exploratory phase — the US Department of Transportation is funding multiple AV projects that will provide safety data to inform regulatory decision-making. For instance, when asked about the next steps for regulations California state legislator Phil Ting said in May 2019, “I think we’re just going to be watching to see how the technology develops.” Any news that further highlights how autonomous technology could be underperforming or that shows the public isn’t ready for these vehicles to be commercially available could spell trouble for companies in the AV space.Want to read more stories like this one? Here’s how to get access: Join thousands of top companies worldwide who trust Business Insider Intelligence for their competitive research needs.>>Inquire About Our Corporate MembershipsExplore related topics in more depth.>>Visit Our Report StoreCurrent subscribers can log in to read the briefing here.
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