nsucurrent.com April 19, 2018

Tesla in autopilot mode crashes in California

25 January 2018, 01:49 | Shelley Chandler

EnlargeCalifornia Highway Patrol

EnlargeCalifornia Highway Patrol

A Tesla crashed into a fire truck, and the driver said he was using autopilot at the time, according to the union representing Culver City firefighters.

According to Culver City firefighters, who Tweeted a picture and information from the scene, the firetruck was parked on the shoulder of the freeway while its crew worked an accident. The driver's father has sued Tesla, which reportedly said they had no way to confirm whether the auto was on autopilot at the time of the crash. "Amazingly there were no injuries!" according to the tweet.

Tesla plans for its autopilot system to one day be truly autonomous - meaning drivers can expect their Tesla to be fully self-driving, like a chauffeur.

Tesla, for example, warns that its autopilot system is not fully autonomous. But the company instructs drivers to be alert because they are ultimately responsible for their vehicle and whatever it smacks into.

The company has designed the Autopilot system in a way that if a driver repeatedly pay no attention to such warnings, the system would stop functioning and would not restart again during the trip. While evidence revealed the Tesla driver was not attentive to the driving task, investigators could not determine from available evidence the reason for his inattention. The board only investigates a small number of crashes each year, but it seems the autopilot element of the Model S sedan has grabbed the interest of the safety organization. There's also "ultrasonic" sensors all around the vehicle to detect hard and soft objects.

Consumer Reports has suggested that Tesla change the name for autopilot to something less misleading. The NHTSA, however, cleared Tesla and determined the driver was at fault.

The safety board did note in its report that the introduction of Tesla's Autosteer software had cut collisions by 40 per cent. The cops found the guy with twice the legal limit of alcohol in his body.

In a deadly crash in Florida in 2016, a Tesla Model S driver using Autopilot drove under the side of a semi truck that had turned left in front of it.

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