The driver ignored warnings of the Tesla autopilot before a deadly accident

Dean C. Smith / Twitter

Tesla published a statement about a recent accident in which the Tesla Model X electric car crashed into the barrier fence, causing his driver to die. The car was under the control of an autopilot, but a few seconds before the collision warned the driver about the need to keep his hands on the wheel, accordingto the company’s blog. In addition, it turned out that the barrier barrier deformation zone was damaged the day before the accident and because of this could not mitigate the impact.

The accident involving the Tesla Model X occurred on March 23, 2018 on the 101 motorway in Mountain View, California. The car crashed into the deformation zone at the beginning of the barrier guard, designed to soften the impact in a violent collision. After that, the car collided in two cars that drove alongside. As a result of the collision, the front part of the car almost completely collapsed and the batteries, due to which Tesla caught fire, were damaged. The driver was taken to the hospital, but he soon died of his injuries.

After the incident, the relative of the deceased stated that he complained about the incorrect operation of the autopilot system on this section of the road, which in some cases turned the car toward the separator. It is alleged that he drove the car to the dealer center, but they could not reproduce the problem. In turn, Tesla claims that it has not found any record of this appeal.

Also, Tesla issued two statements regarding a fatal road accident. The company said that since 2015 its cars with autopilot included drove this place about 85 thousand times and did not fall into similar accidents. In addition, the company demonstrated a snapshot of the separator the day before the accident. It turned out that the deformation zone was almost completely crushed as a result of another accident and was not repaired.

Later the company said that together with the police had studied the data from the on-board computer of the electric vehicle. It turned out that at the time of the collision the car was under the control of an autopilot. The driver received several signals about the need to keep his hands on the steering wheel, but for six seconds before the collision the driver did not do this. Thus, declares Tesla, the driver had five seconds and 150 meters in order to intercept control and avoid a collision.
Also the company reminded about the statistics of its cars. Tesla cars pass an average of 515 million kilometers between road accidents with victims, while the rest of the cars in the United States on average fall into similar accidents every 138 million kilometers. Also in early 2017, the US National Traffic Safety Administration on the US tracks published statistics on the safety of the Tesla autopilot system – according to their data, the frequency of crashes with airbag deployment after the installation of the autopilot system fell by almost 40 percent.

This is not the first traffic accident involving partially unmanned Tesla electric vehicles. In 2016, Tesla Model S with the activated mode of autopilot got  into a traffic accident in which its driver died. A year later, the commission investigating the incident, announced that the driver ignored the warnings of the autopilot system about the need to keep hands on the steering wheel.

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