Crash Caused by Tesla Autopilot Misuse in North Carolina
NORTH CAROLINA- Cleantechnica.com writes that a crash occurred in North Carolina involved a driver who was watching a movie on a smartphone. The car was a Tesla, and the driver had been using the autopilot feature at the time. The autopilot failed to prevent the Tesla from crashing into a police car.*
At the time of the incident, the police officers were responding to the scene of an earlier car crash. Two officers were outside of their car when the Tesla struck the patrol vehicle, causing it to strike the officers.
Tesla has frequently been criticized for its autopilot feature, which drivers tend to treat as if the car is completely autonomous. The system does take several driving activities over, including steering, braking, and acceleration. Drivers who use the system are informed that they need to stay alert, and their hands should be on the wheel. Tesla has repeatedly insisted that drivers are responsible for using the system as it is intended.
One problem that has occurred with the autopilot feature is that the cars often do not respond properly to stationary objects that are on the road when the car is approaching. In part, this is because quick braking can cause dangers to the occupants and others on the road, and it is possible for Tesla’s system to identify false positives in the roadway.
Despite the bad press that the company gets every time someone is involved in a crash while using autopilot, the cars are considered some of the safest on the road. The rate of fatalities and injuries involving these cars is particularly low. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration praised Tesla as having features that mitigate collisions.
Some have stated that the name of the program is part of the issue, as it implies that the cars are capable of autonomously operating.
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