|Tesla needs to have a break from making self-driving cars as the NTSB found out that the Model 3's autopilot was active when an accident killing one person occurred and the company is now under investigation / Photo by: Windell Oskay via Flickr|
It seems Tesla either just can’t really catch a break or the world is not ready for fully-automated vehicles just yet, because coming into and out of controversial self-driving cars scandals, it has found itself in hot water once more when the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) ruled in their preliminary report that the Tesla Model 3 crash last March had actually been enabled by the Autopilot feature.
Multiple carmakers have come forward and said that automated cars are still not the way of the future, as many are still unprepared for them--in both the consumer and manufacturing spectrum alike.
As stated in Tech Radar, NTSB ruled that the Autopilot had failed the driver “less than 8 seconds before the crash” by failing to “detect the driver’s hand on the steering wheel.”
According to the timeline, around ten seconds before the collision, the driver had activated the Autopilot. The report goes on to say that the car was hitting a speed of 68 miles an hour and “carried on for about 1,600 feet before coming to a complete stop.”
At the time of the release of the report, Tesla has not commented, but many are speculating about the nature of this accident and its similarities with one that happened in 2016 where a Model S crash with a semitrailer truck also resulted in the death of the driver.
From that incident, it was recognized that the Tesla “didn’t see the white truck against a bright sky”. This same speculation has floated around this more recent incident.
So far, the only statement that holds up sounding like a response to the accident is just Tesla iterating that for all their autopilot tech, the cars are still in need of human guidance. That is that human drivers should have the presence of mind to put their hands on the wheel to make sure they don’t fall victim to accidents.