Since the beginning of Tesla’s popularity, the company has been plagued with problems. Most notably, their lithium-ion batteries bursting into flames, and their claim of autonomous/assisted driving on their vehicles. Both of these issues pose a high potential for roadway hazards. The autonomous/assisted driving feature has trouble picking up roadway obstacles such as safety sign including barriers and even other vehicles.
Two of the most recent crashes involve, or is suspected to involve the Tesla autopilot software. An incident in California left two dead when a Tesla Model S crashed into the rear-end of a fire truck while it was responding to a call. The fire truck had its emergency lights on, and was parked clearly on the side of the road; viewable for several hundred yards away. another crash killed two Tesla occupants after their vehicle ran through a red light, and struck another vehicle. Investigators refuse to comment on whether the autopilot feature was to blame for this crash.
Tesla Motors is continuing to experience problems with its Autopilot software package’s difficulty in detecting and identifying roadway dangers and, informing vehicle owners of such potential shortcomings and educating owners that the Autopilot feature must be used as a driver-assistive technology rather than an autonomous vehicle technology. Software engineers at Tesla continue to assure the public that these issues are slowly being resolved. However, future fixes aren’t very comforting to those in danger right now. Tesla has a legal and moral duty to educate its drivers on their systems short comings. If Tesla fails to mention these issues or downplays them, they could be held liable for damages due to their act of negligence.
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