A recent fatal accident has caused Tesla Motors Inc. to take a closer look at their automatic braking systems. One of their Model S cars struck another vehicle and it is suspected that the company’s automatic braking system was unable to detect the presence of the tractor trailer that the car collided with.
Congressional aides are now probing the accident in an effort to learn more. There is also a belief that the automatic braking system was able to detect the tractor trailer, yet mistook for an overhead structure. If the system erroneously considered the tractor trailer to be a bridge or overpass, this could also be a reason for the crash.
The accident took place on May 7 in Florida, with a brightly lit sky as the backdrop. Congress members and United States safety officials have both turned their attention to the case and Tesla’s driving systems are now coming under much harsher levels of scrutiny.
Those who were skeptical about automated driving systems find themselves with further reason to believe that they are inherently faulty and the death of an innocent Ohio man only serves to bolster their viewpoint.
The driver of the vehicle was speeding at the time and his 2015 Tesla did not react to the presence of an 18 wheeler on the road in a timely fashion. According to Tesla, this was the first fatality that has experienced by one of their drivers since the implementation of their Autopilot features.
Representatives from Tesla believe that the accident occurred due to a braking failure and do not view it as an indictment of their Autopilot system. While one spokeswoman did confirm that the company’s Senate briefing occurred, no further comment was offered.