Posted on: April 18, 2016
The Tesla Model S has recently been a newsmaker for all the wrong reasons. Last month in Montana, a Tesla in autopilot mode crashed through a guardrail and flew off the road. In May, another tragic accident involving a self-driving Tesla resulted in the death of a 45-year-old man in Florida. And in January, a Tesla Model S burst into flames when its lithium-ion battery exploded during charging at a supercharger station in Norway. Now, a Tesla driver who was involved in a collision earlier this week in Beijing also blames the autopilot function for what should have been an avoidable accident.
The collision occurred when the Tesla failed to detect a disabled vehicle on the road ahead. While other drivers were able to move aside to avoid the obstacle, the Tesla driver did not make any effort to manually steer the vehicle to avoid the accident despite a reaction time of at least five seconds. The driver was relying on the autopilot function to prevent the accident on its own without having to intervene himself.
The driver claimed that he should not be responsible for the more than $7,500 repair bill, citing both Tesla’s technical autopilot error and the “illegal parking” of the disabled vehicle as the reasons behind the crash. He also stated that Tesla did not provide adequate warning that the autopilot feature was supposed to be an assistance system and that it is not meant to be fully relied upon.
According to Tesla: “Tesla requires drivers to remain engaged and aware when Autosteer is enabled. Drivers must keep their hands on the steering wheel.” However, many people still have a false sense of security when it comes to trusting new car technology. Drivers must remember that despite the many technological advances that have been made to make cars safer, autopilot and other functions will never be immune from failure.
There is currently no law in China that determines liability after an accident involving a self-driving car. This is also a new and evolving area of the law in the United States as we learn more about the impact of driverless cars on traffic safety.
If you or someone you know has been hurt in a car accident caused by an auto system failure, seek medical attention immediately. Then, you should contact an experienced South Carolina car accident attorney at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers to talk about your options for pursuing compensation. To speak with a member of our team regarding your potential case, please call 888-612-7001 to request your FREE consultation. We have helped more than 40,000 satisfied clients over the past 40 years recover the compensation they need – FAST!
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