Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla is under threat with a new debate about safety precautions for the autopilot system after a fatal accident in which no one was behind the wheel. In Texas, a Tesla car and two prisoners collided with a tree, and both were killed. Police found one of the men in the passenger seat, the other in the back seat. According to preliminary investigations, it was “99.9 percent certain” that no one was behind the wheel in the accident, a police spokesman said, among other things. The Wall Street Journal. The car burned out.
Tesla advises customers that autopilot is an assistance system and that the person in the driver’s seat should keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times. He must always be ready to take over. But photos and videos document time and time again that people are leaving the driver’s seat in traffic. Tesla tightened safety measures a few years ago: The software detects when the driver is not at the wheel and sounds warning tones after a short time. If warnings are ignored, the system shuts down. The NTSB has criticized the precautions as insufficient and the name of the autopilot is misleading.
The NHTSA Road Traffic Authority is investigating about two dozen previous accidents with the autopilot system operating. Local radio KPRC 2 reported that a Tesla car in Texas hit the tree a few hundred meters from the house the two men started from. Police have imposed restrictions that it was not made clear whether the autopilot was operational at the time of the accident. But Tesla must have the necessary data to determine this.
As the batteries continued to be re-ignited, firefighters needed more than 100,000 liters of water
In past crashes, the vehicle manufacturer was sometimes able to set the number of seconds before the driver last turned the steering wheel. In previous autopilot crashes, two cars set off under semi-trailers in the United States, and several cars collided with stationary vehicles or other obstacles. However, to date no incidents have been reported in which the driver’s seat remains empty. At the same time, Tesla and company president Elon Musk always stresses that statistics show that the number of accidents in general is much lower when drivers are on the road with the autopilot system on.
The company is preparing to enter new jobs in the United States, such as automatic recognition of traffic lights and traffic lights as well as observance of road rules in the city. Tesla calls this next evolutionary stage of autopilot “fully autonomous driving”, while by current standards, it remains a mere assistive system.
Years ago, Musk promised that Tesla could make money as automatic taxis if the owner didn’t need them. Musk is convinced he can make Teslas autonomous with the help of cameras and radar sensors alone. On the other hand, most self-driving car developers also rely on more expensive laser radars that capture the area around the vehicle.
In the accident in Harris County, Texas, another electric vehicle problem surfaced over the weekend. According to a local radio, the fire brigade used more than 100,000 liters of water because the batteries kept burning again.