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    Self-Driving Car Crash and Death of NSW Hero

Self-Driving Car Accident Kills Navy Seal Driver

“This accident is the first of these resulting in the death of the driver. This was not in California this time.”

Self driving meter. Self Driving Car Crash and Death
The words Self-Driving on a vehicle speedometer illustrate the rise of autonomous vehicles to increase safety and reduce accidents.

In the never-ending story of automation and cars, death has now appeared in the Naval Special Warfare Community. 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 occurred in May of 2016 when the Tesla collided with a tractor-trailer truck in Williston, Florida.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) related the 18-wheeler collision when the automated vehicle turned left into the trucker’s path at a busy unlit traffic intersection.

The Tesla Thought the White Trailer was the Sky?

Neither the automated vehicle nor its driver acted fast enough to avoid the collision, resulting in the driver sustaining fatal injuries. The car’s technology registered the white side of the trailer against the sky. Because of this visual misread, the auto technology system failed to slow the Tesla Model S.

Tesla Appears To Blame the Driver?

Yes. Tesla appears to blame this on driver error. Tesla stated that drivers must acknowledge the system’s auto-assist feature before the autopilot can be active. The NHTSA’s preliminary investigation checked if the automated vehicle technology worked correctly. Investigators also said this was the first known death after over 130,000 miles of driverless technology vehicles traversing U.S. roads.

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, according to Tesla, to ensure the driver’s hands steer the wheel. The system will alert when just one or no hands hold the steering wheel.

Simultaneously, the vehicle will slow until the driver does place both hands on the wheel. The automaker said the automated system is not perfect. They require driver assistance to make the technology better.

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


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Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.