We have just learnt of a Tesla Model S crash with autopilot activated. Unfortunately, the driver has lost his life. This incident has strengthened the doubts about self-driving cars and if they can be fully trusted on our roads.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been contacted to carry out a preliminary investigation to determine whether the autopilot was working properly or not.
Reports suggest that the accident happened on a divided highway in central Florida when a tractor trailer drove across the highway perpendicular to the Model S with autopilot on. Unfortunately, neither the driver nor the Model S could observe the big rig “against a brightly lit sky” and brakes were not employed. The CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet that due to the high ride-height of the big rig and its placement crossways, the radar didn’t work as it “tunes out what looks like an overhead road sign to avoid false braking events.”
Tesla has not taken the responsibility of the crash, as according to them, autopilot is in a public beta phase and motorists agree to it before using them. The semi autonomous tech is designed with the anticipation that motorists take control of their car and put their hands on the wheels.
The Swedish automaker Volvo calls Tesla technology an “unsupervised wannabe”, while others inquire should we use a system in beta phase on our roads.
Read what Tesla has to say about this tragic loss.