Two killed in crash while using Tesla autopilot system Car News

Two men died after the Tesla Model S they were traveling in – apparently on autopilot – failed to navigate a bend, crashed and caught fire in Texas.

Although police have yet to make firm conclusions, evidence so far suggests that “no one was driving the vehicle at the time of impact,” said Constable Mark Herman of District 4 in Harris County. .

Instead, the men, both in their 50s, were found in the passenger seats, implying that the car was being driven by Tesla’s “ autonomous driving ” feature before leaving the road.

The 2019 Model S then crashed into a tree, causing its lithium-ion battery to ignite. Emergency services used 105,000 liters of water in four hours to stop it from burning.

Tesla’s autopilot function has long been a point of contention in the auto industry. Its name in particular has come under scrutiny, because while it allows Tesla cars to steer, accelerate and brake in highway lanes, it is not capable of making a whole trip. without human intervention.

Last summer, a German court banned Tesla from using the term autopilot in its marketing and sales materials in Germany. He ruled that the term suggested that Teslas “are technically capable of fully autonomous driving”, which he called “misleading for consumers”.

Matthew Avery, research director at security experts Thatcham Research, described yesterday’s crash as “an incredibly disappointing illustration of why education and correct naming are so important to the safe use of security systems. ‘driving assistance’.

He continued, “A lack of understanding of the capability of the system confuses driver responsibility, and crashes like this unfortunately corroborate this. System names should not be misleading. “

There have been several previously reported incidents involving both Tesla’s autopilot system and the high-density batteries used in its cars.

In a high-profile incident, a stationary Model 3 caught fire in a Shanghai parking lot, prompting Chinese regulators to ask Tesla to improve the build quality of its cars produced in China.

These are also not the first deaths to be linked to Autopilot. In July 2016, a man was killed in Florida while using the feature when the driver and autopilot failed to spot a truck trailer in a lighted sky.

Autocar has contacted Tesla for a response.


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This notice was published: 2021-04-19 16:35:37