Again and again problems with the “autopilot”!
Tesla’s alleged ability to drive autonomously has brought a lot of trouble to the company. Among other things, several accidents are allegedly attributable to the assistance system, some with fatal outcome. Now Tesla’s “autopilot” is calling the authorities again.
The US Transportation Authority NHTSA is currently investigating several incidents in recent years. In accidents, Tesla vehicles were driven on “autopilot” to existing crash sites, some of which had already been used by first responders. There are said to have been numerous injuries and in two cases fatalities. The circumstances and causes have not been clarified so far.
According to media reports, in 16 cases the NHTSA was able to determine that the “autopilot” gave up control of the vehicle, less than a second (!) Before impact. The driver has no chance of taking the wheel in this short time.
Tesla boss Elon Musk had repeatedly said in the past that data analysis had shown that autopilot was not active at the time of the accident and that the company was not to blame.
However, if the following investigations, which have been extended to up to 830,000 cars, reveal that autopilot was deliberately disabled immediately prior to the accident, for example to avoid liability, Tesla could face major problems. The image of the car manufacturer is likely to suffer enormously.
Tesla boss Elon Musk, who said corporate communications is a top priority and prefers to speak via Twitter, has yet to respond to the latest allegations.
Tesla’s “autopilot” is not autopilot
It is still unclear whether Tesla should also fear legal consequences. Why: While the brand likes to use the term “autopilot” and therefore suggests that vehicles are capable of driving autonomously, in reality these are “only” so-called Level 2 assistance systems.
This means that the cars accelerate on their own, brake automatically and steer, but the driver always has exclusive control and cannot leave the wheel.
Not so at Mercedes: As the world’s first manufacturer, the Swabians recently received clearance for so-called level 3 range. The driver can also do other things, like read emails, while the car takes over. . However, he must always be able to regain control.
Mercedes is planning a ten-second transfer time for this. If the driver does not react within this period, emergency braking is activated (safe for subsequent traffic).
In addition to numerous accidents rumored to be related to Tesla’s autopilot, driver complaints have recently increased.
On the NHTSA website, among other things, many report so-called phantom braking, that is, emergency braking on an open road without any obstacles, other vehicles or any other apparent reason.
A problem with which Tesla is not alone. Drivers of other brands also regularly report that assistance systems have a “life of their own”.