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Thu Jun 30, 2016, 05:05 PM

A fatal Tesla Autopilot accident prompts an evaluation by NHTSA



A fatal accident involving a Tesla Model S on Autopilot and a tractor-trailer, which is just now coming to light but happened last month, prompts a preliminary evaluation by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The evaluation will determine whether the system worked according to expectations and it is the first step before an investigation which could potentially lead to a recall.

Tesla issued a statement regarding the accident, which you can read in full below.

It looks like it could be the first reported death caused by a crash while the Autopilot was activated.

Thought the Autopilot was indeed on when the crash occurred, it doesn’t seem to have much to do with the accident the way Tesla describes it:

“What we know is that the vehicle was on a divided highway with Autopilot engaged when a tractor trailer drove across the highway perpendicular to the Model S. Neither Autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied. The high ride height of the trailer combined with its positioning across the road and the extremely rare circumstances of the impact caused the Model S to pass under the trailer, with the bottom of the trailer impacting the windshield of the Model S.”

Based on the description, we are talking about a freak accident reminiscent of another separate recent “Tesla Autopilot accident”, though at much lower speed, which resulted in a trailer hitting the windshield of the car without the sensors detecting it because of the height...snip
Read More: http://electrek.co/2016/06/30/tesla-autopilot-fata-crash-nhtsa-investigation/

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Reply A fatal Tesla Autopilot accident prompts an evaluation by NHTSA (Original post)
Aquila Jun 2016 OP
cologeek Jun 2016 #1
Aquila Jun 2016 #2
Gamle-ged Jun 2016 #3
brantleydavis Oct 2016 #4

Response to Aquila (Original post)

Thu Jun 30, 2016, 05:45 PM

1. Sounds like that sensor system

Needs more testing.

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Response to cologeek (Reply #1)

Thu Jun 30, 2016, 06:14 PM

2. What kind of car company releases a beta autopilot

to test on the public? Tesla. From the Tesla statement:

It is important to note that Tesla disables Autopilot by default and requires explicit acknowledgement that the system is new technology and still in a public beta phase before it can be enabled.

This should be illegal. And if NHTSA still employs anyone with any common sense, it will be.

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Response to Aquila (Original post)

Thu Jun 30, 2016, 07:15 PM

3. I guess the First Law of Robotics was not included in the beta testing...

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Response to Aquila (Original post)

Fri Oct 28, 2016, 11:20 AM

4. Getting Better?

It looks like the features are getting better but still have quite a ways to go - http://www.socalinjuryfirm.com/tesla-autopilot-car-accidents/

Personally, I will never feel comfortable not being in control of my vehicle. That said, I am a control freak and have to control everything in my life.

I do not know how anyone can sit behind the wheel of a vehicle and not be in complete control. It will be very interesting to see how many people buy a Tesla for the autopilot features. My guess is they will buy it for other reasons, but we shall see.

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