The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a Tesla Model S crash which, according to Reuters may have included the electric car manufacturer's semi-autonomous autopilot software. The crash took place in Utah last week, and photos of the entire Model S made headlines across the country, even though the driver was only leaving with a broken ankle.
The driver, a 28-year-old woman who was not identified, told the police she was driving 60 mph at the time, had autopilot busy, and looked at her cell phone with her hands from the steering wheel to the right before the crash has occurred. She has ended, according to police a fire engine in red light. However, it is still unclear whether the NHTSA is investigating the crash specifically for autopilot because the agency does not say why it looks at matter.
A South Jordan Police Department report in Utah describes how the driver did not follow the standard autopilot protocol, including removing the hands from the wheel more than a dozen times and looking at their phone before the crash. Although there is no evidence that the autopilot has failed in any way, NHTSA could investigate the case to make a final decision before we can conclusively state that the driver is to blame. The Tesla Model S monitors only drivers by measuring resistance in the steering wheel, and the car provides visual alerts when it finds its hands off the steering wheel for a certain period of time.
Tesla declined to comment specifically on the NHTSA investigation. However, one company spokesman said, "When the autopilot is in use, drivers are constantly reminded of their responsibility to keep their hands on the wheel and to stay in control of the vehicle at all times." Tesla was always aware that the autopilot was not for everyone Makes accidents impermeable. "Tesla confirmed that the autopilot was actually on when the driver in Utah finished the fire truck.
Tesla boss Elon Musk criticized the media coverage of the crash with the words journalists unjustifiably focused on Tesla crashes for reasons of sensation and wondered why the many daily road traffic accidents are not covered so much. However, Musk has admitted in a follow-up tweet that autopilot "certainly needs to be better and we are working to improve it every day."
What's really amazing about this accident is that a Model S hit a fire truck at 60mph and the driver just broke an ankle. An impact at this speed usually results in serious injury or death.
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 14, 2018
Musk has said in the past that the autopilot reduces the chances of a driver rescuing an accident and as a result lives, and Tesla has the Repeated point in public statements even after fatal accidents. (Three people have died using the feature, but never because of it.) There is no specific data on autopilot safety, so Tesla said earlier this month that it will begin publishing quarterly reports to show the performance of the autopilot his plan to publish a fully self-driving system by next year. Musk has also often criticized autopilot users who are in accidents.
"When there's a serious accident, it's almost always, in fact, perhaps always, the case that it's an experienced user, and the problem is more of complacency," Musk said on the analysts call, in he's the quarterly autopilot reports. "They just get used to it, it's more of a problem, there's no lack of understanding of what Autopilot can do, it's [drivers] to think that they know more about autopilot than they do."
A Report from The Wall Street Journal revealed on Monday that autopilot could make drivers safer and that crashes tend to do so. This only happens if the guidelines are not followed. Tesla rejects advanced driver monitoring features on its cars that could prevent autopilot from being recklessly used. Tesla executives, including Musk, rejected the extended features because they said they were difficult to expensive, could upset drivers or not work as intended. These monitoring functions may have included eye tracking using infrared sensors and cameras, or more powerful warnings and sensors to hold the hands of a driver on the steering wheel. Musk later said on Twitter that eye-tracking was not used because it was ineffective.