Tesla's Model X was on autopilot mode when it crashed
Tesla's Model X that was involved in a fatal car crash last week was operating on autopilot mode when the accident happened. It was being driven by a 38-year-old Apple employee when it collided with a barrier in California, resulting in the driver's death. The accident was so severe that the SUV, which was rear-ended by two other cars after the collision, caught fire.
The site of the mishap
Tesla has officially provided an update on the incident
"In the moments before the collision, Autopilot was engaged with the adaptive cruise control follow-distance set to minimum," Tesla said. "The driver had received several visual and one audible hands-on warning and his hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds prior to the collision. He had about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete divider," it added.
Who's fault is it?
Tesla claimed that the crash was only this severe because the crash attenuator of the vehicle had been crushed in a prior accident and hadn't been replaced. On the other hand, the driver's brother claimed that the former had previously complained about the car swiveling toward that exact barrier to Tesla, but the company could not replicate the issue.
Autopilot mode reduces crash rates by 40%: Tesla
Defending itself, Tesla said that the autopilot mode reduces crash rates by 40%. "In the US, there is one automotive fatality every 86 million miles. For Tesla, there is one fatality every 320 million miles in vehicles equipped with autopilot hardware. If you are driving such a car, you are 3.7 times less likely to be involved in a fatal accident," Tesla said.
Uber's autonomous car has caused pedestrian death as well
Earlier, an autonomous Uber car, while being tested in Arizona, got involved in a fatal accident which resulted in the death of a pedestrian. The rise of such accidents has raised concerns about the future of autonomous vehicles and their use on roads.