Questions after fatal Tesla Autopilot crashThere are about 25,000 Teslas with the Autopilot function on the road in the U.S. The fatal crash is raising concerns about the safety - and the future - of self-driving cars. Learn more at CCTV America: http://www.cctv-america.com/?p=251043
Joshua Brown loved driving his Tesla Model S. He posted 25 videos on YouTube showing off the car’s self-driving feature.
But in May, Brown was killed when his Tesla collided with a truck. The Tesla was in Autopilot mode when it failed to detect the white truck against a bright white sky. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the crash.
According to Mary Cummings, Duke University Director of Robotics, the brakes of the car were never engaged, so the car hit the truck at full speed. This is is an indication that the driver was completely unaware.
The crash is raising concerns about the safety of self-driving cars.
Tesla says it’s the first fatality related to one of its cars being operated in Autopilot, after more than 200 million kilometers driven in that mode. Tesla notes that the car warns drivers to keep their hands on the wheel even when in Autopilot mode.
There are about 25,000 Teslas with the Autopilot function on the road in the U.S. In March Tesla CEO Elon Musk has a vision for the future of self-driving cars.
“Within three years the car will be able to take you from point to point: From your driveway to work without you doing anything,” Musk sais. “You could be asleep the whole time, and do so very safely.”
Most major carmakers have self-driving cars in the works. Autonomous driving features are even being tested in fleets of large trucks.
Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst at AutoTrader thinks the industry should move cautiously.
“The fact of the matter is that the technology is not fully there and developed, especially in high traffic situations,” Krebs said. “We do not have regulation in place to govern the technology, and there’re human drivers who make mistakes behind the wheel.”
Experts say one day self-driving cars will be safer than cars driven by humans, but that day is likely still years away.