Tesla’s Model S and X can nearly drive itself, nearly being the operative word.
When you purchase a Tesla vehicle, there are many luxuries you are getting with the vehicle as these cars do cost a pretty penny. However, each model varies with what it offers and what it is actually capable of doing. With that said, there has been a lot of discussion surrounding how reliable and safe Tesla autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles really are as there have been reported accidents occurring while drivers are traveling inside these vehicles.
But with a recent update in a news report, we are learning that one auto accident that took the life of a former Navy SEAL may not have been attributed to faulty machinery or caused by the vehicle itself. As you know, the world of technology has grown tremendously, especially in terms of how it is applied to our everyday lives. Our vehicles, that once only contained a simple cassette player, now allows you to make commands, use the system to place phone calls, and some being developed will even do the driving for you.
As you may be aware, technology does fail us which is why many have grown concerned with the new development of these innovative vehicles. But, with the arising details of this particular accident, it seems as though semi-autonomous and even those that offer the Autopilot feature can’t take the place of a human driver and deflect you from engaging in an accident-even though you may be under the impression that it can.
Here is what we are now learning regarding the Tesla car accident that transpired back in 2016 involving the former Navy SEAL.
According to CNBC, the man who died while driving in his Tesla Model S sedan was driving with the vehicle in Autopilot mode. While the Autopilot feature will take some control over the vehicle, it “does not allow the driver to abdicate responsibility” according to the company. After evidence has been reviewed, it is being revealed that Brown, the driver who passed away, had his hands on the wheel for only 25 seconds during a 37-minute period. He had the Autopilot feature on during most of his trip and was visually warned seven separate times that said “Hands Required Not Detected.”
Brown did not follow the commands being given and eventually collided with a truck. Although the family hired an accident lawyer in Florida to represent them, they have yet to take legal action against Tesla. And with the statement provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), perhaps they don’t have a viable reason to do so. According to NHTSA, “there was no evidence of defects in the aftermath of Brown’s death.”
Is the Tesla Model S able to drive on its own?
While this accident has many wondering whether they should use the feature or not, it is important to be aware of how these features work and what they are capable of handling. According to The Guardian, the Tesla Model S vehicle is does possess the Autopilot feature, however, while it “is one of the most advanced driver aids available today, it is not autonomous driving.” When it comes to autonomous driving, that is defined as a vehicle that is able to maneuver without human input. These particular models aren’t quite equipped for that which is why Brown was given the warnings he was and why these models could be considered semi-autonomous. That means they can act independently to some degree but still require human interaction.
And when the Tesla Model S is being operated using the Autopilot feature, “it still requires the driver to pay attention to the road and keep their hands on the steering wheel.” While Autopilot has become a dependable and trustworthy feature for drivers to rely on, it is important to recognize that it still requires motorists to actively participate in the driving.
It is still unknown whether the family will pursue a car accident lawsuit or even a wrongful death suit after their son was killed in the Tesla car crash, however, this evidence might make it harder for them to win their case.