Vehicles

Tesla Autopilot Death, Crashes Rattle Self-Driving Safety Culture

Posted on July 6, 2016

This still image taken from a video published on YouTube on Oct. 15, 2015, shows Joshua Brown of Canton, Ohio, in the driver's seat of his Tesla Model S with no hands on the steering wheel while he demonstrates the car's self-driving mode. Brown was killed on May 7, 2016, in Williston, Fla., when his car hit a tractor-trailer while it was on the Autopilot system. (YouTube via AP)
This still image taken from a video published on YouTube on Oct. 15, 2015, shows Joshua Brown of Canton, Ohio, in the driver's seat of his Tesla Model S with no hands on the steering wheel while he demonstrates the car's self-driving mode. Brown was killed on May 7, 2016, in Williston, Fla., when his car hit a tractor-trailer while it was on the Autopilot system. (YouTube via AP)
The crash in Florida that killed a driver who was using his Tesla's Autopilot feature is raising questions about whether stronger federal regulation will make sure self-driving technology is thoroughly tested before going into cars.

Separately, a second a Southfield, Mich., art gallery owner told police his 2016 Tesla Model X was in Autopilot mode when it crashed and rolled over on the Pennsylvania Turnpike July 1. The crash came just one day after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a report on a fatal crash in May involving a Tesla that was in self-driving mode. USA Today article and video on July 1 accident here

The May 7 crash that killed Joshua Brown, 40, of Ohio as he was driving near Williston, Fla., comes as the NHTSA is believed to be formulating guidelines around the development of self-driving cars. While the agency has encouraged the advent of self-driving vehicles as way of preventing accidents, the crash underscores the urgency to make sure the systems remain safe during their development phase.

USA Today article on May 7 accident here

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