A man was seated inside a self-driving Tesla Model X that was traveling down a highway in Mountain View, California when the autonomous vehicle crashed into a concrete divider. The driver perished from his injuries suffered in the car accident, which occurred in March 2018.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was tasked with looking into the collision to determine its cause. Did the driver act negligently and fail to try to prevent the crash? Or, did the autonomous vehicle experience a defect and fail to notice the oncoming barrier?
While the NTSB was still in the middle of its investigation, Tesla announced that autopilot mode was indeed on at the time of the fatal crash. Upset by Tesla’s decision to speak openly about an ongoing investigation, the NTSB noted it was proper protocol to notify them before any other involved party shares information.
Even though Tesla confirmed automated driving was activated when the crash in Mountain View occurred, it did not admit to liability for the crash. The automaker claimed the autopilot mode behaved as expected, signaling the driver with both auditory and visual warnings of the eminent impact. According to the company’s own estimates, the driver had at least five seconds to manually brake or take control of the steering wheel from the time of the first warning to the collision.
At this point, the NTSB will likely continue investigations to either challenge or back Tesla’s statements. For more information about this developing story, you can click here to read a full article from ABC 7.
Relying on a self-driving vehicle can be a serious hazard, even if the car is not defective. As the Mountain View Tesla crash seems to indicate, it is dangerously simple for a driver to assume a false sense of security when in an autonomous car. The technology seems to suggest the vehicle can do everything on its own and never needs the attention of the driver. This is not the case, as the tech and safety features still have far to go to perfection.
Were you hurt in a car accident that involved or was caused by a self-driving vehicle? Call (850) 764-0383 to connect with The Pitman Firm, P.A. and Florida personal injury Attorney Wes Pittman. With more than three decades of legal experience, Wes Pittman has become the trusted name in injury representation throughout the state. You can request a free initial consultation from the firm to learn more about filing a claim, damages you may be able to cite, and more.