Tesla is scheduled to go on trial in Palm Beach County, Fla., in February in a wrongful death lawsuit over the effectiveness of Autopilot, a much-touted system for the electric car maker that controls steering, speed and braking.
Tesla’s key question is whether it’s overstated the performance of its Autopilot feature, thereby lulling drivers into a false sense of security. Tesla’s Autopilot remains the subject of investigations by two federal agencies.
In March 2019, Jeremy Banner, 50, died after his Tesla Model 3 collided with a semi-trailer in Delray Beach, Florida. The father of three had put the vehicle on autopilot seconds before the accident.
Banner’s widow filed the wrongful death lawsuit in August 2019.
Banner’s attorney has called the trial an opportunity to hold Tesla accountable for using public roads as a testing ground for “their malfunctioning autopilot system,” according to a report from Tuesday’s Bloomberg News.
There have been similar deaths said to have been linked to Autopilot. In May 2016, Joshua Brown, 40, died after his Tesla Model S sedan collided with a tractor-trailer near Williston, Florida.
Tesla has warned about Autopilot’s limitations as it may face dozens more similar lawsuits. After Brown’s accident, Tesla issued a statement stressing that Autopilot was not intended to make the vehicle autonomous and “still requires the driver to remain alert.”
In June, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that Autopilot was involved in 273 accidents over the past 11 months. It also found that Tesla vehicles accounted for almost 70% of the 392 driver assistance system accidents reported from July 2021 to June 2022.
Reuters noted Aug. 5 that since 2016, NHTSA has opened 38 special investigations into accidents involving Tesla vehicles that are believed to have used advanced driver assistance systems.
https://www.ibtimes.com.au/teslas-autopilot-faces-lawsuit-over-safety-concerns-1838308?utm_source=Public&utm_medium=Feed&utm_campaign=Distribution Tesla’s Autopilot goes on trial over safety concerns