The effectiveness of Tesla’s self-driving cars has been closely monitored with each high-profile crash making national headlines. Most recently, a Florida man who was operating a Tesla Model 3 on March 1 died after colliding a with the side of a truck. This follows another Tesla crash from 2016 that involved similar circumstances. In that case, it was determined that the car did not slow down when a truck pulled in front of it while the autopilot was engaged.
Same story this time
The National Transportation Safety Board has now issued a preliminary report. It found that the car’s operator had engaged Tesla’s advanced driver assistance system, which includes Traffic Aware cruise control, Autosteer and Auto Lane Change Systems. These systems use camera sensors, radar and ultrasonic sensors to operate the vehicle without requiring the driver to have their hands on the steering wheel, but an alert does sound if the operator’s hands remain off the wheel for a period of time.
Based on video from the car and nearby surveillance cameras, the driver of the truck pulled out of a private driveway and across traffic to take a left turn. Unfortunately, the car’s autopilot, which had been engaged for about eight seconds before the crash, did not adjust to avoid the semi-truck.
More work needs to be done
Critics of this emerging technology are calling for more testing and safety standards by which car manufacturers like Tesla must be measured. Moreover, Tesla has had problems with the powerful batteries operating the vehicles starting on fire and causing these vehicles to crash.
Victims include both owners and others on the road
The increase in the number of these self-driving has put other drivers and pedestrians on edge. It is unfortunate that manufacturers have not yet worked out the bugs in this technology, and should be considered negligent by continuing to sell unsafe vehicles. The injured or their loved ones who face injuries from self-driving cars need to hold the negligent accountable. Seeking compensation can help defer the costs of lost wages, additional medical costs, property damage, and related expenses.