from the problems-with-his-connection dept.
Tesla Autopilot Crash Driver 'Was Playing Video Game'
An Apple employee who died after his Tesla car hit a concrete barrier was playing a video game at the time of the crash, investigators believe.
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said the car had been driving semi-autonomously using Tesla's Autopilot software.
Tesla instructs drivers to keep their hands on the wheel in Autopilot mode.
But critics say the "Autopilot" branding makes some drivers think the car is driving fully autonomously.
The NTSB said the driver had been "over-reliant" on the software.
Tesla does instruct drivers to keep their hands on the wheel when using Autopilot, and an audible warning sounds if they fail to do so.
Does the Tesla branding of "autopilot" lure drivers into driving dangerously?
Tesla Crash Likely Caused by Video Game Distraction
The NTSB has published a review of a fatal crash involving a Tesla in March 2018 that includes a set of safety recommendations.
In the NTSB press release(2/25/2020) regarding the causes for the crash, they made the following observations:
The NTSB determined the Tesla "Autopilot" system's limitations, the driver's overreliance on the "Autopilot" and the driver's distraction – likely from a cell phone game application – caused the crash. The Tesla vehicle's ineffective monitoring of driver engagement was determined to have contributed to the crash. Systemic problems with the California Department of Transportation's repair of traffic safety hardware and the California Highway Patrol's failure to "report damage to a crash attenuator led to the Tesla striking a damaged and nonoperational crash attenuator" [sic], which the NTSB said contributed to the severity of the driver's injuries.
"This tragic crash clearly demonstrates the limitations of advanced driver assistance systems available to consumers today," said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. "There is not a vehicle currently available to US consumers that is self-driving. Period. Every vehicle sold to US consumers still requires the driver to be actively engaged in the driving task, even when advanced driver assistance systems are activated. If you are selling a car with an advanced driver assistance system, you're not selling a self-driving car. If you are driving a car with an advanced driver assistance system, you don't own a self-driving car," said Sumwalt.
"In this crash we saw an over-reliance on technology, we saw distraction, we saw a lack of policy prohibiting cell phone use while driving, and we saw infrastructure failures that, when combined, led to this tragic loss. The lessons learned from this investigation are as much about people as they are about the limitations of emerging technologies," said Sumwalt. "Crashes like this one, and thousands more that happen every year due to distraction, are why "Eliminate Distractions" remains on the NTSB's Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements," he said.
[...] the board also excoriated the National Highway Transportation Agency for providing utterly ineffectual oversight when it comes to so-called "level 2" driver assists, as well as California's highway agency CalTrans, which failed to replace a damaged crash attenuator in front of the concrete gore, which would in most likelihood have saved Huang's life.
Tesla Model X driver dies in Mountain View crash
Submitted via IRC for Fnord666
The driver of a Tesla Model X has died following a highway crash in Mountain View, leaving a number of safety questions.
Tesla Crash: Model X Was In Autopilot Mode, Firm Says
In a post on its website, the electric-car maker said computer logs retrieved from the wrecked SUV show that Tesla's driver-assisting Autopilot technology was engaged and that the driver doesn't appear to have grabbed the steering wheel in the seconds before the crash.
The car's 38-year-old driver died after the vehicle hit a concrete lane divider on a Northern California freeway and caught fire. The accident happened March 23.
[...] In its Friday post, Tesla said the crashed Model X's computer logs show that the driver's hands weren't detected on the steering wheel for 6 seconds prior to the accident. It said they also show the driver had "about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete divider" before the crash but that "no action was taken."
The company cited various statistics in defending Autopilot in the post and said there's no doubt the technology makes vehicles safer than traditional cars.
"Over a year ago," the post said, "our first iteration of Autopilot was found by the US government to reduce crash rates by as much as 40 percent. Internal data confirms that recent updates to Autopilot have improved system reliability."
"Tesla Autopilot does not prevent all accidents -- such a standard would be impossible -- but it makes them much less likely to occur," the post reads. "It unequivocally makes the world safer for the vehicle occupants, pedestrians and cyclists."
Submitted via IRC for Runaway1956
A Tesla driving in "autopilot" mode crashed in March when the vehicle sped up and steered into a concrete barrier, according to a new report on the fatal collision, raising fresh concerns about Elon Musk's technology.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that four seconds before the 23 March crash on a highway in Silicon Valley, which killed Walter Huang, 38, the car stopped following the path of a vehicle in front of it. Three seconds before the impact, it sped up from 62mph to 70.8mph, and the car did not brake or steer away, the NTSB said.
[...] The NTSB report [...] has once again raised serious safety questions about the limits and performance of the autopilot technology, which is meant to assist drivers and has faced growing scrutiny from experts and regulators. Mark Fong, an attorney for Huang's family, also said the report appeared to "contradict Tesla's characterization" of the collision.
The Mountain View Fire Department applied about 200 gallons of water and foam to extinguish the post-crash fire. The battery reignited five days after the crash in an impound lot and was extinguished by the San Mateo Fire Department.
Tesla has yet another federal headache to contend with. On March 4, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects Investigation opened a preliminary investigation after two reports of Tesla Model Y steering wheels detaching in drivers' hands while driving.
NHTSA's ODI says that in both cases, the model year 2023 Model Ys each required repairs on the production line that involved removing their steering wheels. The wheels were refitted but were only held in place by friction—Tesla workers never replaced the retaining bolt that affixes the steering wheel to the steering column. In 2018, Ford had to recall more than 1.3 million vehicles after an incorrectly sized bolt resulted in a similar problem.
The ODI document states that "sudden separation occurred when the force exerted on the steering wheel overcame the resistance of the friction fit while the vehicles were in motion" and that both incidents occurred while the electric vehicles still had low mileage.
Tesla recalls all cars with FSD (full self driving) option (Elon Tweet:"Definitely. The word "recall" for an over-the-air software update is anachronistic and just flat wrong!")
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