May 17, 2019

AUTOMATION: Autopilot was active when a Tesla crashed into a truck, killing driver.

Jeremy Banner was driving his Model 3 on a divided four-lane highway in Palm Beach County, Florida. As the car approached a driveway, a semi truck pulled out in front of the car, making a left-hand turn from the driveway to the opposite travel lanes.

The Tesla was moving at 68mph (110km/h) and slid under the truck’s trailer. The trailer sheared off the top of the car, killing Banner. The vehicle continued down the road for another 1,600 feet (500m) before coming to a rest in the median.

“Preliminary data show that the Tesla’s Autopilot system… was active at the time of the crash,” the NTSB reports. “The driver engaged the Autopilot about 10 seconds before the collision. From less than 8 seconds before the crash to the time of impact, the vehicle did not detect the driver’s hands on the steering wheel.”

The NTSB says that preliminary data suggests that neither the driver nor the Autopilot system made evasive maneuvers.

Automated driving still feels like a solution in search of a problem.

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.