Tesla Autopilot: First Death

    Famous enthusiast Joshua Brown became a victim

    Accident site

    The Model S car with the autopilot system on was in a fatal accident. This is the first case of driver’s death when the car was moving under the control of a computer system. About the tragic loss told the company Tesla Motors in a corporate blog.

    The company emphasizes that for the first time, a person was killed for more than 210 million km that drove Tesla Model S cars in autopilot mode.

    According to US statistics, if you consider all cars, then a fatal accident occurs approximately every 151 million km. According to world statistics - every 97 million km.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) initiated a preliminary investigation into the accident. It should establish whether the autopilot system was operating normally.

    As soon as Tesla found out about the incident (it occurred May 7 at 3:40 p.m. in Williston, Florida, on Highway 27 near the BP gas station ), it immediately notified the NHTSA.

    At the moment, it is only known that the 2015 Tesla Model S was moving along the highway with the autopilot turned on, when a truck tractor with a semi-trailer drove into a lane perpendicular to the direction of movement. Neither the autopilot nor the driver noticed a light-colored truck against a brightly lit sky , thereforeThe brake system has not been activated . “High ground clearance coupled with the position of the semitrailer on the road and extremely rare circumstances led the Model S to go under the trailer and the lower part of the trailer colliding with the Model S windshield,” so the upper part of Model S was blown away.

    Most likely, the accident pattern looked like this:

    There is a version, the Model S sensors located too low did not react due to the high ground clearance of the truck.

    Tesla emphasizes that if the collision occurred on the front or rear of the trailer, even at high speed, the security system would probably have prevented serious driver injuries, as in many similar incidents before.

    At the moment, autopilot is still in testing. It is disabled by default. The driver can activate it at his own risk. When driving on autopilot, you need to be prepared to intervene. You need to keep your hands on the steering wheel, otherwise the system will give a sound signal and gradually stop the electric car.

    Tesla admits that the autopilot needs further refinement, although it still provides a higher level of driving safety than the average value for accident statistics.

    Dead 40-year-old Ohio resident Joshua Brownwas a great electric vehicle activist and friend of Tesla Motors, a well-known community “a man who dedicated his life to innovation and advanced technology and who wholeheartedly believed in Tesla's mission. We want to express my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones, ”Tesla Motors said in an official statement.

    Ironically, Joshua Brown is the same enthusiast who posted a viral video in April about how a Tesla autopilot saved him from a collision with a truck.

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