Last year, Joshua Brown was killed in the first fatal accident involving a Tesla self-driving car operating on its own. The crash, which occurred on a highway in Florida, drew significant media attention and a national debate on whether self-driving vehicles were truly ready for widespread use.
Now, a little more than a year later, more information has surfaced about the accident. According to a recent report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Brown received several visual and audio warnings to take control of the vehicle away from autopilot before the crash. He apparently did not heed these warnings.
Additional information indicates Brown had his hands on the wheel for only about 25 seconds of a 37-minute period on the road. There were seven separate visual warning signals that activated during that period, along with six audio warning signals accompanying them.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not find evidence of an autopilot defect and stressed the need for drivers to continue to pay attention to their surroundings while using the autopilot feature in Tesla vehicles. The NTSB reiterated the fact that Brown was not watching a DVD at the time of the accident, as had initially been reported.
Technology a work in progress
Tesla’s self-driving technology has a long way to go before it becomes a fixture of American roadways. It does appear, however, that many of the criticisms that arose of the technology after this accident may have been premature.
If you have been injured in an accident and you believe negligence or a defective part was to blame, speak with an experienced Bradenton personal injury attorney at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.