Investigation into Tesla Model S driver’s death blames semi-autonomous feature of car
A Tesla Model S driver died while driving electric car on Autopilot made big headlines. This is raising concern over use of self driving cars. But in this case where driver died was actually not fully autonomous car, but a semi-autonomous car. After investigation, it is thought that fully autonomous vehicle could be safe for drivers of self-driving cars.
Tesla’s autopilot is a driver-assist setting that allows a driver on the road to use its sensors and cameras that automatically steer and adjust speeds. With this feature, Tesla Model S can change lanes and drive can avoid collisions. However, on Autopilot, car is not transformed into a fully autonomous car. There is still need for the driver to have controls all the time while driving it. For example drivers are required to keep their hands on the wheel.
Moreover, whenever autopilot is on, the car reminds the driver to “always keep your hands on the wheel. Be prepared to take over at any time.” System also makes frequent check for keeping aware about driver status so to alert him with visible and audible alerts.
The driver, Joshua Brown, died in the May 7 crash. Investigation of the death was announced recently. He made many of his video himself while driving the car. He documented an incident in which he made close call with a truck that merges into his lane. His car helped him to avoid collision with the truck.
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