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Tesla Driver on Autopilot Charged with Vehicular Homicide

Granite Law Group

News sources have reported another autopilot car accident. A Washington man was recently charged with vehicular homicide after causing the death of a motorcyclist while driving his Tesla in supervised Full Self-Driving mode. It was reported that the Tesla driver was on his phone at the time of the fatal accident. He did not observe the motorcyclist. Apparently, neither did the Tesla. The motorcyclist was struck, causing him to be ejected from his bike, and then was ran over.

The Tesla driver admitted to investigators that he had one drink before operating his vehicle. However, he passed an on-scene field sobriety test. The investigating officers seemed more concerned with the Tesla driver’s failure to appreciate the motorcyclist due to being distracted by his phone. Had he been paying attention to the road, despite operating in self-drive, he could’ve disengaged the autopilot function. He would’ve been able to take evasive action to avoid the crash.

According to Tesla promotional materials, “under your supervision, Full Self-Driving (Supervised) can drive your Tesla almost anywhere.” Tesla tells operators that the self-driving car “will make lane changes, select forks to follow your navigation route, navigate around other vehicles and objects, and make left and right turns.”

Notwithstanding, Tesla recommends that owners of self-driving cars “use additional caution” and “remain attentive” when utilizing the feature. Tesla adds that vehicles do not become “autonomous” and drivers should not become “complacent.”

It remains unknown why the Tesla technology did not identify the motorcyclist with its camera system and sensors. Better technology would’ve prevented this fatal accident.

Tesla driver using autopilot mode charged with vehicular homicide in death of motorcyclist | Fox Business


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