Tesla has spent a great deal of time marketing the autonomous driving features their vehicles have. Being able to own a car that drives itself is a huge game-changer. Most people would think this would lead to better safety standards and so on. However, Tesla hasn’t had a great track record when it comes to its autopilot feature. The latest example happened just last week. Two people are dead in a crash involving a 2019 Tesla Model S, that had no driver.
Two men were in the vehicle at the time of the crash. One was sitting in the passenger seat, and the other was in the back. Local police claim the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed when it came to a slight curve. The car then went off the roadway and crashed into a tree. The car then burst into flames, killing both passengers. It took firefighters nearly four hours and 30,000 gallons of water to extinguish the fire. According to the police constable, this is an abnormal occurrence, saying “Normally when the fire department arrives, they have the vehicle fire in control in minutes, but this went on close to four hours.” Apparently, crews who arrived at the scene had to call Tesla to ask how to put the fire out.
Back in March, the US auto safety agency said they had 27 investigations open regarding Tesla vehicle crashes. While Tesla says they tell customers to not fall asleep at the wheel or leave the driver’s seat empty. The company warns that their autonomous driver-assistance software is intended for use with “a fully attentive driver.” This serves as an important reminder that Tesla’s autopilot feature does not make the car fully autonomous, and still requires a human driver’s full attention to avoid tragic accidents.
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