Since the introduction of the Tesla Autopilot, controversy has surrounded the Elon Musk-driven cutting-edge technology that represented a new era for self-driving cars. Yet, despite the technological advances, countless crashes by Tesla cars have resulted in numerous injuries and deaths.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has set its sights on Tesla software and its role in 11 specific crashes that resulted in 17 injuries and one fatality from January 2108 to July 2021. Overall, NHTSA’s investigation includes approximately 765,000 Tesla vehicles in multiple states. The number represents a vast majority of the cars manufactured since 2014.
Is Tesla-chosen technology creating unnecessary dangers?
Autopilot incorporates sensors and cameras to support the auto manufacturer’s Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer. Tesla has issued warnings against driver complacency and encourages active driving and not an overreliance on what customers believe the vehicle is autonomous when it is not.
A specific component of the study surrounds Iidar and Tesla’s refusal to use it. All but a handful of companies feature Iidar radar that uses lasers as opposed to Tesla, which uses radio waves. Laser technology is well known to be more effective in detecting oncoming objects and estimating their distance. Conversely, cameras can fail in both glare and darkness.
The NHTSA’s initial evaluation will determine whether they should proceed with an engineering analysis that could result in a recall of Tesla vehicles. At the very least, the company will likely have to make significant technological changes in the future, specifically the incorporation of lidar.
Technical advances continue in the manufacturing of motor vehicles with the goal of safer operation. However, high-tech innovation will not stop accidents caused by negligence from occurring that may require the help of a personal injury attorney.