Who’s to Blame? Tesla Faces First Death Associated with Autopilot Mode

By: Admin

Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors seems like a company set on bringing the future to the present. With projects such as their fully electric cars to power cells that may power our homes someday, Elon Musk, company founder, has positioned himself as a real life Tony Stark. One of Tesla Motors’ most exciting projects, however, has recently been met with its first tragedy.

Self-driving cars have seen huge advancements in just the past five years, and Tesla Motors has been the forerunner of this technology. However, a man utilizing the Autopilot mode in his car, unfortunately, lost his life on a Florida highway after the system failed to recognize a tractor trailer merging into his lane. If the driver is not technically driving the vehicle at the time of the accident, is he at fault? We break down facts to consider.

Facts About the First Fatal Tesla Motors Accident

  • Autopilot is still considered an experimental technology
  • The trucker asserted that the Tesla driver was watching a movie at the time of the accident, due to the still-playing audio at the scene of the crash
  • Tesla claims that it is impossible to watch video while Tesla Motors cars are in Autopilot mode, due to safety concerns
  • Owners of Tesla Motors cars with the Autopilot feature must first accept onscreen warnings before activating
  • Autopilot successfully avoided fatalities in over 130 logged miles since the program’s inception
  • The Autopilot feature explicitly requires you to keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times

Though tragic, considering the fact that this is the first fatal accident in this technology’s history, thus far, there does not seem to be an immediate sign of danger from Tesla Motors’ Autopilot mode. However, once this technology becomes available to more customers, this number is sure to rise.

With that in mind, we have to start thinking about who is responsible in these cases. Is Tesla Motors negligent for providing this technology to the masses? Is the driver responsible for not heeding the onscreen warnings?

Our advice? Always read warnings, investigate new technologies before adopting them into your own life, and, of course, drive safely. If you are involved in a car accident, never hesitate to contact our experienced team of attorneys today.


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