Monday, 10 December, 2018

Tesla 'on Autopilot' slams into parked fire truck on California freeway

Sleek The starting price of a Tesla Model S is around $68,000 and the vehicle comes equipped with a semi-autonomous Autopilot system Sleek The starting price of a Tesla Model S is around $68,000 and the vehicle comes equipped with a semi-autonomous Autopilot system
Nellie Chapman | 25 January, 2018, 08:54

As CNBC reports, on Monday a Tesla Model S crashed into the back of a fire truck located on a freeway near to Culver City, California.

It's the second time the National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have investigated the performance of Autopilot, which keeps a vehicle centered in its lane at a set distance from cars in front of it and also can change lanes and brake automatically.

After the 2016 crash, the NTSB recommended automakers take additional steps to assuring that the driver is paying attention while using a driver-assist system. The vehicle struck the firetruck around 8:30am Monday on Interstate 450 in Culver City, California.

Tesla did release an update to its self-driving mode recently that made the vehicle stop itself if it detected that the driver's hands were not on the wheel while the vehicle was moving. The group included photos showing significant damage to both vehicles. Fortunately, no one was injured. "Amazingly there were no injuries!" 'Please stay alert while driving!'

In a deadly crash in Florida in 2016, a Tesla Model S driver using Autopilot drove under the side of a semi truck that had turned left in front of it. However, Tesla has already pointed out that Autopilot still requires the driver be fully attentive and have their hands on the wheel.

The Culver City firefighters" union said in an Instagram post that the Tesla - a black Model S sedan - "plowed into the rear of Engine 42' while crews were responding to a motorcycle accident at around 8.30am. It couldn't confirm whether it was in Autopilot mode.

The driver of the Tesla is blaming Autopilot for the collision, which was apparently in use at the time.

NHTSA, which regulates auto safety, declined a year ago to issue a recall or fine Tesla as a result of the crash, but it warned automakers they aren't to treat semi-autonomous cars as if they were fully self-driving. According to its owner manual, the vehicle comes equipped with a semi-autonomous Autopilot system.

As more people start using cars that are capable of driving themselves, the increase in incidents involving them, including fatalities, is bound to rise. Tesla released a statement following the news of the investigation.

Also, the board said, the Autopilot technology that monitors whether a driver has their hands on the steering wheel isn't a good way to tell if the driver is paying attention.

The Tesla incident comes days after an accident surfaced involving a Chevy Bolt, GM's answer to the Tesla Model 3.

"The motorcyclist was determined to be at fault for attempting to overtake and pass another vehicle on the right under conditions that did not permit that movement in safety", the DMV wrote in a report. GM is being sued by a motorcyclist, who claims the electric vehicle was operating in autonomous mode (what GM calls Cruise Automation technology) when it "suddenly veered back into [the motorcyclist's] lane, striking [him] and knocking him to the ground".