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Another One? Second Potential Tesla Autopilot Crash Investigated

by John Gomez | Last Updated: July 12, 2016

The age of self-driven vehicles is coming.  Whether that day arrives sooner or later will depend largely on the safety of the first self-driving vehicles to hit the roads.  Given the potential for sales and innovation, several companies are getting involved in testing these self-driving vehicles.  One of the leading companies working on this possibility is Tesla, which has long been known for its different types of innovations.  Until recently, the testing of these vehicles has gone swimmingly.  Sadly, that all changed when a possible Tesla autopilot crash took the life of the vehicle’s occupant.  Now comes word that another potential Tesla autopilot crash is under investigation by the federal government.  This second crash was fortunately not fatal.  It could, however, lead to more intense scrutiny on this entire process.

About the Tesla Autopilot Program

Tesla is a company along with others that include Google, Apple, Ford and General Motors that is working to establish a self-driving vehicle for consumers.  Tesla is approaching this project differently, though, in that it appears to be acting more aggressively.  Companies like Google are testing these vehicles on a somewhat limited basis and allowing only employees to ride in them in specific locations.  Google’s vehicles have self-driven for approximately 1.5 million miles.  Tesla stated that at the time of a recent crash, their vehicles had driven approximately 130 million miles.

About Each Possible Tesla Autopilot Crash

The first accident that occurred chronologically took place in May in Florida.  It should be noted that it did not involve a completely self-driving vehicle, but rather a unit with an autopilot function.  The crash involved a Tesla Model S.  According to reports, including one that can be found here, the “driver” of the vehicle was traveling on a divided highway with the autopilot engaged.  A tractor trailer allegedly drove across the highway perpendicular to the vehicle.  Neither the driver nor the software recognized the tractor trailer and the two vehicles collided, killing the occupant.

The more recent possible Tesla autopilot crash took place on July 1.  It occurred on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  According to reports, including one that can be found here, the person in the driver’s seat claimed that he had activated the autopilot on the Tesla Model X before the vehicle crashed into a guard rail.  Tesla stated that it could not confirm whether or not the autopilot feature was actually activated when the collision occurred.  The federal government is investigating both of these crashes.  There were two occupants in the car and both were injured but survived.

What Does It All Mean?

Each of these accidents could lead to more scrutiny from officials and more skepticism from consumers.  If these types of accidents become more common, they could also lead to more complicated questions regarding liability if people who are injured or family members of those who are killed decide to seek legal redress for their losses.  Possible at-fault parties in these accidents could still be either or any of the human drivers involved or perhaps the self-driving or auto-piloted vehicles if errors occur that lead to collisions.  If you have been injured in any type of crash, contact the San Diego car accident lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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