Tesla critic Missy Cummings becomes NHTSA Safety Advisor: Trouble for Elon Musk?
Joe Biden Administration has appointed Tesla critic Missy Cummings as the new NHTSA safety advisor. This could spell out trouble for Tesla in the coming days, as Cummings has been known for her vocal criticism about the electric vehicle manufacturer.
Tesla in recent times has made several headlines for both good and wrong reasons. While the positive headlines were made because of its products and technologies, the wrong reasons include mishaps involving the car brand's famous Autopilot technology.
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In many cases where the Tesla cars were involved in accidents, its Autopilot semi-automatic driver assistance system was reportedly active. The technology has been claimed as faulty by many. A well-regarded autonomy researcher Missy Cummings too has been vocal against this technology on Tesla cars.
Interestingly, immediately after Missy Cummings' appointment as the Safety Advisor of NHTSA, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to write that Cummings' track record is extremely biased against Tesla. Cummings too responded to Musk by saying that she is happy to sit down and talk with the Tesla CEO anytime.
Her appointment has resulted in some Tesla enthusiasts and Elon Musk fans accusing the Joe Biden administration and NHTSA of anti-Tesla bias. Some have even started an online petition demanding a review of Missy Cummings appointment, pointing to her relation to the autonomous driving technolog6y industry. They are worried that Cummings' scrutiny could impact Tesla's market valuation in the coming days.
Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk have touted the company's electric cars and Autopilot technology as safer than others on the road. However, researchers and experts have raised questions about this claim. Also, several mishaps involving the Autopilot technology have ignited suspicion.
After all this, NHTSA is currently focused on Tesla and its so-called autonomous driving technology. The agency had recently sent a letter to Tesla asking why the OEM didn't issue a recall. The intensity of the probe could increase with Cummings' appointment to the agency.