WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The owner had previously told his family about Tesla’s auto-navigation issue before the crash happened.
- Another fatal accident involving Tesla’s autopilot system was recorded in May 2019.
- Tesla AVs, according to the company’s website, are engineered for safety.
The latest released reports from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) showed that the
the driver who lost his life when the Tesla he was driving in autopilot smashed into a freeway barrier has a prior complaint about the navigation system of the car.
The accident, which happened near Mountain View, California, in March 2018, caused the death of an Engineer who works at Apple. Allegedly, the driver already raised concerns about the steering which seems to direct him towards the same block every time he’s en route to work.
NTSB reported that the concrete barrier the Tesla owner is referring to has later become the scene of the accident.
Citing results of their investigation, the driver has noticed that whenever he passes on the crash site’s left lane on autopilot, the Tesla would navigate left, which he would then manually operate to stay on the path.
The statement also noted that the driver had told both his wife and brother about his observation and even tried once to demonstrate the supposed navigation glitch.
A technician from Tesla was also told about the concern when the driver went to the service center for a door problem.
Investigators also remarked on their report that the “Three Kingdoms” game was on active mode during the accident as retrieved from the owner’s phone data.
Meanwhile, the NTSB also disclosed their findings involving another Tesla autopilot fatal accident in May of 2019, Florida. Their report indicates that the vehicle’s navigation was on autopilot for about 10 seconds before the crash. It was also clear that the steering wheel was hands-free at the time of the accident.
The second driver was cruising at 68 miles per hour, beyond the speed limit of only 55.
NTSB further concluded that there are no signs of safety maneuvers coming neither from the driver nor Tesla’s autopilot system. After the initial crash, the vehicle continued running toward the south at around 1600 feet before finally stopping in the middle.
Meanwhile, Tesla was not available to comment upon ABC News’ request on Wednesday, but the company, via its website, stressed that safety is their main priority, and their cars are designed to be the “safest cars in the world.”
The recent NTSB findings were just in time as the safety of self-driving vehicles is being scrutinized while the industry pushes for further development.
On Tuesday, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce subcommittee commented during a hearing at the Capitol that autonomous vehicle (AV) technology in the US would trail behind if it doesn’t receive the backing of the lawmakers.
D-Mich. Representative Debbie Dingell emphasized that it is important that the US leads the innovation of AVs, and if they don’t act on the matter right away, America will lose the advantage.