Skip to main content

Self-Driving Technology Under the Microscope After Fatal Tesla Autopilot Accident

Red Telsa Model S
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy


Today, Tesla Motors officially declared an action transpired in regards to autonomous and self-driving that many have feared as well as expected to happen. In a company blog posting, Tesla Motors announced their company was contacted by the United States NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) as a preliminary investigation has been opened into the self-driving Autopilot program installed on a Tesla Model S involved in a crash resulting in a death.

A fatal accident where an activated Autopilot system is suspect for being a leading factor, a male occupant of a Tesla Model S sedan died when the vehicle collided with the trailer of a transport truck. The explanation of the crash seems to indicate the limitations of this certain self-driving aid technology in detecting white objects in high light conditions. According to the blog account, the tractor trailer was perpendicular to the Model S where the all-electric vehicle drove under the bottom of the trailer.

Tesla Motors expressed sadness and sympathies towards the person as well as his family, the auto company. However, while acknowledging the accident and the evaluation of their Autopilot system, Tesla Motors has also included clarity and defense of the self-driving assist technology. Citing the Autopilot's record of completing 130 million miles of collective operations among Tesla vehicles, the automaker draws attention to statistics that a fatality on average occurs on American roadways every 94 million miles. Tesla does mention their Autopilot technology is still in the beta phase. Suggesting the software is improving as its continues to operate in real-worth cases, Tesla clearly makes its clear their Autopilot function is an assist feature and requires full driver attention when in use.

The organization Consumer Watchdog quickly reacted to the news as it was posted on the Tesla blog. "We hope this is a wake-up call to federal regulators that we still don't know enough about the safety of self-driving cars to be rushing them to the road. The Administration should slow its rush to write guidelines until the causes in this crash are clear, and the manufacturers provide public evidence that self-driving cars are safe." said the group's executive director Carmen Balber in a press release. Consumer Watchdog has been a vocal critic to the quick-moving development of autonomous and self-driving technology. In April, Consumer Watchdog issued a release calling for the NHTSA to reject Google's approval process for self-driving vehicles. A previous press release implored the regulator to ask Google 10 questions related to the execution of their self-driving cars. While several of the questions look for answers to legitimate concerns about the function of the self-driving software as well as privacy, Consumer Watchdog has also conveyed displeasure in what the organization has defined as a fast-track approval process. Part of question 9 read as follows: "NHTSA's performance standards are actually designed to promote new life-saving technology. Why is Google trying to circumvent them?"

It's inevitable this fatality with self-driving technology will result in the proliferation of ongoing debates on the future of this autonomous control on the road. Expect those discussion to take place in the days and weeks to come. Share value of  Tesla Motors shares have dropped to as much as $6.03 in after hours trading in the wake of the evaluation by the NHTSA,

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton Quickest In Qatar Qualifying

Photo Credit: LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd. Saturday’s qualifying for the inaugural Formula 1 race in the Arab nation of Qatar has assembled what is certain to be a dramatic opening lap showdown between this season’s title contenders Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. In setting the grid for Sunday’s 57-lap main event on the fast, high grip 5.380-kilometer Losail International Circuit, it was the driver of the #44 Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team race car that took honours. Lewis Hamilton’s pole-winning lap time of 1-minute, 20.827 seconds in the final Q3 session putting a cap on a time trial where the seven-time World Drivers’ Champion handily controlled through the three sessions. Joining Hamilton on the front row of the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix will be Max Verstappen’s Red Bull Racing machine. The Honda-powered entrant was 0.455 seconds slower than the rival Mercedes race car. With the race at Losail being the third-to-last event on the 2021 Form

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship: Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach Review

Photo Credit: Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. untitled A companion to the NTT IndyCar Series finale weekend on the streets of Long Beach, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship staged a 26-car race on Saturday consisting of DPi, GTLM and GTD class machines. With the conclusion of the 1-hour, 40-minute Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach sports car event, the overall winner was the #31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac shared by the driving duo of Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani. The victory was a decisive weekend for the Whelen Engineering Racing team that had scored the pole position and went on to take the checkered flag with a 10.95-second gap over the #01 Cadillac fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing with Kevin Magnussen and Renger van der Zande. Corvette Racing enjoyed a dominant outing in the GTLM category. Nick Tandy and Tommy Milner in the #4 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R beat the #3 car shared by Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor. Only three GTLM class vehicles ran at Long Be

NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series: NHRA Midwest Nationals

Photo Credit: Richard H Shute/Auto Imagery Inc. untitled At the NHRA Midwest Nationals, three of the top four classes of NHRA drag racing competed at World Wide Technology Raceway as the latest round in the series championship Countdown. Pro Stock Motorcycles received a planned break after an emotionally difficult outing at zMax Dragway in Charlotte leaving Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock cars of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series to entertain the crowd in St. Louis, Missouri. The Top Fuel class eliminations resulted in an interesting semi-finals with Leah Pruett matched against Mike Salinas and Steve Torrence racing against John Hart. Taking the top spot in qualifying, Salinas and his Scrappers Racing car was triumphant against Pruett while Torrence’s CAPCO Racing machine earned his latest berth into a 2021 finals defeating Hart. In the finals Steve Torrence leaped off the line with an awful 0.142-second reaction time but proved victorious in the late stage of