Second Tesla Crash Casts More Doubts on Driverless Cars
The second crash of a Tesla car that had its autopilot feature activated raises new fears about the safety of self-driving cars.
Tesla has admitted that a car that crashed on Sunday had its autopilot feature activated, the BBC reported.
“This vehicle was being driven along an undivided mountain road shortly after midnight with autosteer enabled,” a Tesla spokeswoman told the BBC.
Just weeks ago a Tesla car crashed in Florida when it hit a truck, killing the driver. It was the first fatality linked to a self-driving car.
The electric carmaker claims the autopilot function was not being used correctly at the time of the recent crash.
The latest crash occurred near Cardwell in Montana. A Model X hit wooden rails by a two-lane road. The driver survived the wreck. A third wreck was reported in Pennsylvania. Tesla has, however, refuted the claims of a driver that the autopilot function was on.
Tesla Chief executive Elon Musk stressed the company has no plans to disable the autopilot in the wake of the latest crash.
He told the Wall Street Journal the company will be publishing a blog highlighting how drivers should use the autopilot technology.
I’m not convinced publishing a blog will help Tesla drivers much. Self-driving technology needs to be very straightforward to use and should not be endangering drivers and passengers because it’s not obvious how to operate it.
The New York Times reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released a detailed set of questions to Tesla about its cars in the wake of the recent crashes.
The self-driving feature is installed in about 70,000 vehicles that are on the road. Tesla has claimed that people using its autopilot are statistically safer than those who are not.
It’s alarming to me that self-driving technology is already experiencing these problems. Before the fatal crash in Florida, the technology failed to see a truck ahead of the car.
If a self-driving car is involved in a crash that involves a failure of the technology those who are injured or the next-of-kin of those who lose their lives would likely have grounds to file a lawsuit against a manufacturer.
In a recent blog, I expressed my doubts about whether driverless cars will ever take off in America. The concept cedes control away from the driver. The recent crashes of Tesla cars have made me increasingly skeptical.
At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers we help dozens of people who have been hurt in car wrecks every month. Call us for a free consultation at (757) 455-0077.