The Continuing Trend of the Tragic Implications of Tesla’s Autopilot System
The South Florida Sun Sentinel recently reported that Tesla, the manufacturer of the vehicles involved in three different fatal crashes in recent years here in South Florida, remains a work in progress. Specifically, several of Tesla’s advertised automated navigation features are labeled as being in a “beta”, or test, phase. However, these beta features are not in test vehicles – instead, they are reportedly, and disturbingly, in the vehicles that consumers are purchasing and driving on a daily basis. And tragically, accidents are following.
What is the Problem With These Features Being in a Beta Phase?
By the time that a vehicle is placed in the market where consumers can buy it, the people who purchase it have an expectation – and rightfully so – that the vehicle will have been fully tested and deemed safe prior to being made available for purchase. In particular, all of the cool features that may attract a driver to a specific vehicle in the first place are generally expected to be fully operational when a driver takes the car off the lot. The “beta” or test phase is counterintuitive to this expectation.
What is Tesla’s Position?
Tesla has publicly asserted on its website in response to the series of accidents involving its vehicles that its autopilot system actually makes accidents less likely to occur. Further, the company has insisted that its autopilot system unequivocally makes the world safer for the vehicle occupants, pedestrians and cyclists on the road. Unfortunately, these assertions continue to be contradicted by accidents involving vehicles manufactured by Tesla.
What is the Accident That Caused Tesla’s Autopilot System to Come Under Scrutiny?
An accident in California caused Tesla’s semiautonomous driving system to come under new scrutiny after it reportedly occurred while Autopilot was engaged. Reportedly, neither the driver nor the Autopilot activated the brakes before the fatal crash into a concrete divider despite several visual and audible warnings. According to the New York Times, this accident renews questions about this signature feature of Tesla vehicles and whether the company is properly ensuring that it keeps drivers and passengers safe.
How Does Autopilot Work?
Autopilot technology in vehicles like those manufactured by Tesla utilizes features such as radar and cameras to detect changing traffic conditions. This includes the ability to detect and adjust to lane markings, other vehicles and objects in the road. And while Tesla has insisted that its Autopilot system is only a driver-assistance system and is not intended to pilot cars on its own, the reality is that this system can steer, accelerate, and even brake without assistance from the driver.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured in an Accident Involving a Tesla?
Because this is a newer area of law, you need seasoned attorneys who are experienced in delving through complex and novel matters. Please understand that you are not alone and deserve competent legal help especially when battling a corporate giant. Additionally, if another driver has been negligent, you have options under Florida law to hold the accountable party responsible. The Boca Raton auto accident attorneys of Leifer & Ramirez have helped many people pursue the compensation that they deserve during our 25 years of combined experience and we can help you. Contact us today to begin.