Questions arise after another crash involving Tesla Motors vehicle equipped with Autopilot

Questions arise after another crash involving Tesla Motors vehicle equipped with Autopilot

New questions have been raised following the crash that included a Tesla Motors Inc. vehicle equipped with Autopilot, regarding how the feature and other upcoming technologies are going to figure into accident investigations, was it driver’s fault or that of the autopilot of the vehicle?

In the most recent incident, while speaking to police, Albert Scaglione, Oakland County resident and art gallery owner, reportedly said that his 2016 Tesla Model X was in the driver-assist mode at the time of crash around 5 pm on Friday on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, but the company insisted over the absence of evidence that the Autopilot contributed to the crash.

The strongest proof in this case that the law enforcement and federal officials investigating the case had, was the increasing amount of data Tesla and other so-called ‘connected’ vehicles has produced. While for so many years, event-data recorders, or so-called ‘black boxes’, present within cars and trucks have offered some crash information, real-time linked vehicles can offer hordes of data that may bring out the real culprit in an accident.

Wayne Cohen, a Washington, DC, trial lawyer and law professor at George Washington University, said, “Its uncharted territory in the new type of data that is being introduced. That data is not regulated. There are no regulations that pertain to that data”.

According to Cohen and others, the underlying data could be more trustworthy in comparison to the observations of witnesses and help automakers avoid playful class-action lawsuits.

At a recent auto-tech conference in Novi, Gail L. Gottehrer, partner at law firm Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP, said that now, car would be providing them with information regarding who’s at fault.


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