Tesla's autopilot heavily criticized by safety regulator

02/27/2020

Posted by: Chris Odogwu

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Tesla's autopilot has been heavily criticized by the NTSB - a safety regular - for being adequate after killing a man in a fatal accident. Read the details!

The era of Tesla receiving accolades for its innovative vehicles like the Tesla Cybertruck seems to be over as the automaker is under scrutiny over the reliability of its autopilot program. Investigations carried out by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on a fatal crash involving a Tesla vehicle using its autopilot system have revealed damaging information about the American company.

tesla-autopilot-car-crash

The driver playing games on his phone does not exonerate Tesla from the crash

The crash in question involved a Tesla 2018 Model X which was being driven by a car owner identified as Walter Huang. Huang, an Engineer, was said to have been driving the electrical vehicle on autopilot while immersed in a video game he was playing on his mobile phone. He had so much confidence in the accuracy of the autopilot, hence, he was intentionally distracted.  His car hit a barrier on the highway, leading to a fatal crash.

>>> Tesla CEO Elon Musk has big dreams about driving technology! Elon Musk discloses future tech allowing communications between cars and pedestrians

Speaking about the incident, Vice Chairman of the NTSB, Bruce Landberg, said that the vehicle’s Autosteer, a feature meant to ensure that the vehicle does not go out of its lane, was inadequate. Landberg’s remark is presumably based on the outcome of the fatal crash. If the Autosteer was adequate, Huang’s vehicle would have remained on its lane, far away from the highway barrier.

In Tesla’s defense, the company clearly states that drivers are expected to be present and alert even when they have engaged the autopilot system on the road. But the counter-argument is that not many drivers will heed to that directive. If it is so effective, why do they need to be alert?

These investigative findings have dealt a heavy blow on Tesla’s crusade for autonomous driving. The company’s CEO Elon Musk would have to work overtime to fix this.

>>> Check out latest auto news on Naijauto.com for more updates!

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Chris Odogwu

Chris Odogwu

Car events

Chris Odogwu is a Content Writer and Journalist. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from University of Jos and a master's degree in Mass Communication from University of Lagos. His works have been published in top local and international publications including Forbes, HuffPost, ThriveGlobal, TheNextScoop and Nigeria360 among others. A member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), the thrill he gets from writing about exotic cars feels almost the same as riding in them.

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