Jan 6, 2019

Self Driving Car Crash and Death

"This accident is the first of these resulting in the death of the driver. This was not in California this time."
Self driving meter
The words Self-Driving on a vehicle speedometer to illustrate the rise of autonomous vehicles to increase safety and reduce accidents

In the never-ending story of automation and cars, death now has appeared. Tesla's self-driving technology vehicle is front and center in this controversy. Also, this automobile crash case is the first of these resulting in the passing of the driver. But this was not in California this time.

And the weather conditions were similar to a sunny California day. The crash took place in May when the Tesla collided with a tractor-trailer truck in Williston, Florida.

The facts are by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.) Facts relate that the collision happened when the 18-wheeler made a left turn in front of the automated vehicle. And the crash was at a busy intersection. The intersection was a divided highway without traffic lights.

The Tesla Thought the White Trailer was the Sky?

The automated vehicle nor the driver acted in enough time to avoid the collision. This crash resulted in the driver sustaining fatal injuries. The car’s technology registered the white side of the trailer against the sky. It was was perpendicular to the Tesla Model S. Because of this misread, the auto technology system did not apply the brakes.

Tesla Appears to Blame the Driver?

The NHTSA said a preliminary investigation got conducted. So this was done to determine if the automated vehicle technology worked correctly. The agency said this was the first known death. And this comes after over 130,000 miles of driverless technology vehicles. Tesla appears to blame this on driver error.

Tesla stated that before the autopilot can active, drivers are required to acknowledge the system's auto assist feature.

The Driver Must Always Be Ready to Take the Wheel?

The driver must be willing to take over at any time, and the autopilot does a check. Doing so ensures the driver's hands are on the wheel. The system will alert the driver if both hands are not on the steering wheel.

At the same time, the vehicle will slow until the driver does place both hands on the wheel. The automaker said the automated system is not perfect. They said it requires driver assistance, though the technology is getting better.

This particular Tesla’s windshield hit the trailer of the truck during the collision. Of particular interest, the driver was a former Navy Seal Joshua D. Brown, age 40 of Canton, Ohio. God rest his soul. Hooyah!