US seeks driver assistance documents from Tesla; The company raises its capital expenditure forecast

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) It was revealed on Tuesday that the US Department of Justice has sought documents related to fully autonomous driving (FSD) and automated driver assistance systems as regulatory scrutiny intensifies.

said the automaker in file It “has received requests from the Department of Justice for documents related to Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD features.”

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

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

CEO Elon Musk has championed the systems as innovations that improve road safety and position the company as a leader in technology.

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

Acting National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief Ann Carlson said this month that the agency is “working very quickly” on the Tesla Autopilot investigation it opened in August 2021 and called it “extremely broad.” In June, NHTSA upgraded to an engineering analysis of its own defect analysis of 830,000 Tesla cars with Autopilot, a step that was necessary before the agency could request the recall.

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Autopilot is designed to assist in steering, braking, speed and trajectory changes. The job currently requires active supervision from the driver and does not make the vehicle autonomous. Tesla separately sells its $15,000 Full Self-Driving Software (FSD) as an add-on that enables its cars to change lanes and park independently.

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Shares of the automaker rose 2% in early trade.

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

Tesla also on Tuesday projected capital spending of between $7 billion and $9 billion in 2024 and 2025. The midpoint of that forecast is $1 billion higher than the $6.00 billion to $8.00 billion range for this year.

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Part of the spending will go toward a $3.6 billion expansion of the Nevada Gigafactory complex, where Tesla will mass-produce its long-delayed semi truck and build a 4680 cell factory that will be able to manufacture enough batteries for two million light duty services. vehicles annually.

Tesla said it posted a $204 million decline loss on bitcoin it held, while it booked a $64 million gain from converting the token into fiat currency.

Cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, have taken a beating in the past year as interest rates soared and major players in the industry, such as cryptocurrency exchange FTX, collapsed, shaking investor confidence.

Additional reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru and David Shepardson; Editing by Sriraj Kaluvella and Bernadette Baume

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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