Tesla’s driver automation to be assessed by the NTSB in the wake of first fatal crash
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) automated self-driving mode is going to be scrutinized by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) after the recent fatal crash in Florida that took the life of a Tesla driver. The NTSB wants to determine if Tesla’s self-driving mode is safe to use under all conditions or not. Tesla is under increasing pressure to revamp its autonomous driving mode which is predicted to cause more fatality due to the blind trust emitted into the new technology. Here is The Country Caller’s take on NTSB’s probe on Tesla’s self-driving mode.
Tesla developed its autonomous self-driving cars after there had been a call for sensors and automation to prevent fatal car accidents due to human error. However, it seems Tesla has not yet perfected its autonomous technology after the fatality that occurred in Florida. After its investigation of the fatal accident, NTSB has warned against using this autonomous technology which can be a cause of more similar fatal accidents in the near future. NTSB claims that Tesla’s autonomous driving mode is not street ready after it mistook a tractor trailer for a highway sign which was caused the fatal accident in Florida.
Tesla maintains that it has always warned its customers of the consequences attached to its self-driving cars. The company stated that it always makes it clear to its customers that the autonomous driving mode on a Tesla is still in its Beta testing phase and requires the driver to be alert and ready to take manual control at all times. Tesla has countered back at NBPT’s claims and reinstated that the recent fatal car crash is not its fault as the driver should have been more alert to his surroundings.
Interestingly, it is very rare for NTSB to openly investigate into a fatal highway accident which makes the announcement that it will be assessing Tesla’s case even more significant. The National Transportation Safety Board is not just investigating as to what caused the fatal car accident but also to determine if it’s safe to implement such autonomous driving technology any further. The future of self-driving cars might be resting on this case and Tesla owners will be hoping that this recent incident was nothing more than just a one-off.
Whatever decision is taken will not change the fact that we all should stay fully focused and in control of our vehicles on the road, regardless of if we are driving an autonomous car or traditional combustion vehicle. Better to be safe than to be sorry.