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Musk Says Safety Features Active in New Teslas, Testing to Follow

Tesla founder Elon Musk says active safety features are in place in the electric vehicle maker's new cars.
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Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report CEO Elon Musk reportedly said that active safety features are in place in the electric vehicle maker's new cars and that federal highway officials will be testing them next week.

Shares of the Palo Alto, Calif. company were off slightly to $629.96 at last check.

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Musk told EV website Electrek that he had confirmed with the Autopilot team that the features are active in all cars now, including its new vision-only cars that use cameras instead of radar, the website reported. 

Tesla said on Tuesday that it’s dropping radar from its Model 3 and Model Y cars sold in North America in favor of a camera-based system called Tesla Vision for its driver-assistance features, starting in May. But Tesla noted that during a transition period, cars with Tesla Vision may have some features temporarily limited or inactive, including Autosteer, Smart Summon and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration automatically removes the check mark approving a company's safety claim for any cars with new hardware until they retest, which is happening next week, but the functionality is actually there, Musk told the website, adding that "it will have all the safety features of prior vision+radar and then some."

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"The software should be fully rolled out to all new vehicles within two weeks," Musk said. "The probability of safety will be higher with pure vision than vision+radar, not lower. Vision has become so good that radar actually reduces signal/noise."

According to NHTSA, Model 3 and Model Y vehicles built on or after April 27 will no longer receive the agency’s check mark for forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and dynamic brake support.

Meanwhile, Consumer Reports said it is no longer listing the Model 3 as a Top Pick due to the temporary loss of automatic emergency braking and other safety features.

Tesla did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Separately, the Financial Times reported that Tesla was on a global hunt to secure its own stash of semiconductor chips amid the ongoing shortage.

Also, Tesla said that it had established a data center in China that will store information generated from cars sold in the country