How Safe is the Tesla Autopilot?
Tesla cars have been involved in several fatal accidents where drivers were using the vehicles’ “Autopilot” driver assist technology, raising concerns about the safety of the technology.
If you have seen the old “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” Mickey Mouse cartoon or heard the robots’ chorus on the Alan Parson Project’s I Robot album, you are familiar with the concept that, if machines were given the ability and the opportunity to make decisions, they would act like rebellious teenagers. If machines were rebellious teenagers, just think of the destruction they could cause by operating motor vehicles. With Tesla’s Autopilot, this is not just a dystopian thought exercise but a scary reality. When left to their own devices, Tesla cars operating in Autopilot mode, they have sped under railroad crossings and into the path of oncoming trains, hurtled headlong into the walls of parking garages, crashed into semi-trucks, and dawdled in front of oncoming traffic while making left turns on busy city roads. If you have been injured in a traffic accident involving Tesla Autopilot, contact a Murrieta car accident lawyer.
Is Autopilot Dangerous, or Does it Just Have an Image Problem?
Since Tesla Autopilot technology has been available to the public, at least four vehicles have been involved in fatal accidents while Autopilot was enabled. Lawsuits arising from these accidents allege that the car seemed to have a mind of its own, despite the driver’s best efforts to steer clear of the crash. Meanwhile, Tesla argues that the Autopilot technology is perfectly safe when used properly; representatives of Tesla allege that, in the Autopilot crashes, the drivers were not paying attention to the road as they should have been. For example, two people died when the Tesla they were riding in crashed into a grove of trees planted beside the road. It appears that, at the time of the crash, one person was in the front passenger seat and the other was in the backseat, which means that no one was driving. Tesla claims that it has been clear that its driver assist technology is not meant to take the place of a human driver. If that is the case, then, why is it called Autopilot?
What to Do if You Were Injured in an Accident Where Tesla Autopilot Played a Role
If you were injured in an accident where you were driving a Tesla and its Autopilot feature functioned unpredictably or overrode your input, you may have grounds for a product liability lawsuit; Tesla has already been faced with several of these lawsuits. If the car that crashed into yours was using Autopilot, your next steps depend on the details. If, against Tesla’s advice, the driver was expecting Autopilot to do all the work, you should treat it just like any other distracted driving case.
Contact a Murrieta Car Accident Lawyer
A car accident lawyer in Riverside County can help you if you were involved in a car accident involving autonomous vehicle features. Contact Gibbs & Fuerst LLP in Murrieta, California to set up a consultation about your car accident case.