NHTSA Questions Tesla About Upcoming Option to Disable Autopilot Steering Wheel Nag

After @Elon Musk tweeted that an update allowing hands-free driving for Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta users would be coming in January on December 31, a U.S. regulator has reached out for more information, reports Reuters.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has followed up on Musk’s tweet, in which he responded to Tesla enthusiast @WholeMarsBlog saying that drivers with over 10,000 miles on the FSD beta should be able to turn off the driver monitoring system’s “steering wheel nag.”

In response, Musk said he agreed and that an update for this would be coming in January.

The function would effectively allow hands-free driving, since drivers wouldn’t be pinged to put their hands back on the steering wheel — so long as they’ve done over 10,000 miles using the system.

The NHTSA “is in contact with Tesla to gather additional information,” according to a statement made on Monday.

The news comes amidst an ongoing investigation by the NHTSA into Tesla’s Autopilot and related accidents, and as the public has scrutinized the automaker’s FSD beta driver monitoring system to ensure the utmost safety. Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD beta systems explicitly inform drivers to take over and to always monitor driving situations at all times, with hands on the steering wheel.

Tesla has also removed some remote window controls due to federal regulations, no longer allowing drivers to open and close windows from the mobile app.