US Seeks Tesla Driver Assistance Documents; Company raises investment forecast

US Seeks Tesla Driver Assistance Documents;  Company raises investment forecast
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) As announced on Tuesday, the US Department of Justice has requested documents related to its Full Self-Driving (FSD) and Autopilot driver assistance systems as regulatory scrutiny intensifies.

This was announced by the automaker in a shelf it “has received requests from the DOJ for documents related to Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD capabilities.”

Reuters reported in October Tesla is under criminal investigation over claims that the company’s electric vehicles could drive themselves. Reuters said the US Department of Justice launched the investigation in 2021 after more than a dozen autopilot accidents, some of which were fatal.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has championed the systems as innovations that will both improve road safety and position the company as a technology leader.

Regulators are investigating whether Autopilot’s design and claims of its capabilities give users a false sense of security, leading to complacency behind the wheel with potentially fatal consequences.

Acting Chief of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Ann Carlson the agency said this month is working “really fast” on the Tesla Autopilot investigation that opened in August 2021, which she described as “very extensive.” In June, NHTSA upgraded its fault probe in 830,000 Tesla Autopilot vehicles to include technical analysis, a step necessary before the agency could request a recall.

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Autopilot is designed to help with steering, braking, speed and lane changes. The feature currently requires active driver monitoring and does not make the vehicle autonomous. Tesla is separately selling $15,000 full self-driving (FSD) software as an add-on that allows its vehicles to change lanes and park autonomously.

Shares of the automaker are up 2% in early trade.

The Wall Street Journal reported in October that the Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting a civil investigation into Tesla’s autopilot statements, citing sources.

Tesla also forecasts capital expenditures of between $7 billion and $9 billion in 2024 and 2025. The midpoint of this expectation is $1 billion above this year’s range of $6.00 billion to $8.00 billion.

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A portion of the spending will go toward a $3.6 billion expansion of its Nevada Gigafactory complex, where Tesla will mass-produce its long-delayed semi-truck and build a factory for the 4680 cell, which will be located in the Would be able to produce enough batteries for 2 million light vehicles annually.

Tesla said it recorded a $204 million depreciation loss on the bitcoin it holds, while posting a $64 million gain from converting the token into fiat currency.

Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have come under pressure over the past year as rising interest rates and the collapse of major industry players like crypto exchange FTX shook investor confidence.

reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru and David Shepardson; Edited by Sriraj Kalluvila and Bernadette Baum

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Policy.

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