Tesla is making the news for a car accident for the second time this year, but the damage may not be their fault. The electric motor company equips their vehicles with partial autopilot. This technology allows the car to stay centered in lanes, switch lanes, and brake of its own accord. Tesla, however, no longer simply enables the vehicles to do this. There are also checks and controls to ensure drivers are using autopilot safely. Drivers who misuse the tech are impeded from continuing to use it in order to keep roads safer.
Who is responsible for autopilot accidents?
This latest accident, which happened on March 16, has raised multiple questions because the car fire that occurred and killed the driver is beyond what Tesla has ever seen in the model that crashed. In fact, it is estimated that Tesla cars are 5 times less likely to have a car fire than gasoline powered cars.
Tesla and investigators have discovered that autopilot was engaged at the time of the accident and that the driver did not have his hands on the steering wheel for 6 seconds, despite warnings. It is clear that the autopilot is not the only concern.
The Model X crashed while on a freeway, but never ran into a safety shield. It is still unknown why there was no safety shield where the car hit. According to Tesla the damage was exacerbated because the driver hit the concrete barrier directly instead of a shield. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are both investigating this crash with Tesla.
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