Tesla is in a very hot spot after its Autopilot system was found to have played a “major role” in a 2016 accident.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the main factor that eventually led to the accident was a combination of human error, as the semitrailer driver failed to yield the right away to the Tesla in question, and the Tesla’s driver complete confidence in the technology’s Autopilot system. The NTSB also concluded that due to a design issue, the technology may have failed to properly alert the driver that the truck was approaching the vehicle and that a crash was imminent.
The tragic accident, which unfortunately resulted in death, could have been prevented if the driver hadn’t used Autopilot for means that do not fit their purpose.
For instance, according to the NTSB, the road the vehicle was traveling on was not fitting for the use of the Autopilot feature. On top of that, the Autopilot system was set up for 74 miles per hour, even though the road’s speed limit was 65. Since the Autopilot system failed to detect the truck crossing an intersection and driving in front of the Tesla, the vehicles collided and the Tesla driver was fatally injured as a result.
This was the first known fatal accident involving an automated driving system such as Tesla’s Autopilot technology and according to Tesla’s own CEO, Elon Musk, an update of the system could have helped to prevent this tragic crash.
It’s because of moments like this that we hope drivers are aware that self-driving technologies are not the answer to all problems. Drivers must beware that accidents can happen even if the car is being driven by an automated technology and they should act accordingly by never relinquishing full control over their vehicle to the machine.
For more on this Tesla accident, follow this link.