Tesla Driver Kills Black Bear on Oregon Highway
The Public is Questioning Why Tesla's Automatic Emergency Brakes Did Not Trigger to Potentially Avoid the Collision
SUTHERLIN, OR. – April 26, 2018 (sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com) A driver crashed into a black bear on an Oregon highway April 24, according to an online report from sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com.*
On April 24, 2018 a driver was traveling southbound in a Tesla vehicle on Interstate 5. A black bear stepped into the path of the car, and the driver hit the bear. The bear died as a result of the crash, and the front end of the vehicle was wrecked. Local authorities indicated the driver of the Tesla was thankfully not injured.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife asked police to keep a tooth from the bear so the it could determine the age of the bear and update its records. The Department has a population model that tracks estimated wildlife populations, and the model uses animal age as one indicator.
Police have said that vehicle collisions with large animals occur with some frequency in Oregon, especially when temperature warms. Animals begin to come out of the woods and move toward human populations in search of food during the warmer months, they said. In March, authorities had to euthanize a cougar that had wandered into a vacant motel room in Oregon.
Authorities have provided no indication that the driver of the Tesla was using Autopilot, a feature that allows Tesla vehicles to perform some driving functions autonomously. However, some members of the public are questioning why the car’s automatic emergency brakes did not trigger to potentially avoid the collision. The incident raises concerns about the car’s capabilities in other emergency-braking situations, like a pedestrian crossing the road or children running into the street.
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