Self-driving car manufacturers market their products as ultra-safe alternatives to classic vehicles. Recent news suggests there are still some serious flaws. One of Tesla’s vehicles was involved in a fatal car accident while Autopilot was engaged. Autopilot is a self-driving feature in Tesla’s Model S that can steer, brake and accelerate for drivers.
This feature uses some of the same devices found in other self-driving vehicles, such as sensors and cameras. Autopilot can read lane dividers and detect some obstacles, but there may still be some flaws. The Tesla Model S involved in this recent accident failed to see a large semi-truck approaching from a perpendicular position.
Autopilot might have been unable to notice the white side of the semi-trailer against the backdrop of the brightly lit sky. The Model S involved in the accident went underneath the tractor trailer instead of applying the brakes.
Should Drivers Fully Trust Self-Driving Car Technology?
Critics of self-driving and driverless car technology have made several intriguing arguments. While these vehicles will no doubt play a significant role in reducing accidents nationwide, they are far from perfect. Tesla’s Autopilot is meant to be used with both hands on the wheel and is not designed to function without a driver.
The truck driver involved in the collision two months ago claims the Tesla Model S driver may have been watching a Harry Potter movie when the crash occurred. If that claim is true, it would be appropriate to point out that people using these vehicles should not let their guard down while driving. Motorists should not trust self-driving technology with their lives.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now investigating the accident.
The Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat wish everyone a happy and safe summer.