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Updated: Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) Autopilot Tort Might Mean The End

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Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TESLA,) will have a hard time pulling through on its Autopilot promise. There is a technical problem with the two versions which came before 2.5. Buyers keen on advanced versions of the company’s self-driving systems will have to water down their expectations. With the exception of the recent AP 2.5 vehicles, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concludes that most Teslas pose a safety threat.

Virtually the whole Elon Musk corporation’s car buyer base is an increased liability now. Does the NTSB’s decision put a halt to the development of Tesla’s Autopilot? Learnbonds considers a report released this week. It brings up the near 16 month-old investigation into the death of a Tesla Model S owner. Ohio resident Joshua Brown was the victim who lost his life during the crash. His electric-powered sedan was engaged in Autopilot at the time.

The NTSB is an investigative and independent American government agency. It is responsible for looking into civil-related transportation accidents and disputes. The incident which led to Brown’s death on 2016’s May 7th could have been prevented. This is according to the NTSB’s conclusion this week, which blames the shortcomings of Tesla’s Autopilot.

The trouble Tesla, Inc. is in (NASDAQ:TSLA)

Tesla’s widely used car self-guiding system could soon be under a massive crackdown. A look at the safety board’s conclusion proposes that the energy tech company could have done more to prevent cases like the crash which took Brown’s life.

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Autopilot

The key notes from the NTSB report are as follows. Firstly, the pattern in which Brown used Autopilot on his Model S suggests too much reliance on the system’s capabilities. Secondly, he was not attentive during the driving task. However, the investigators do not claim to know the reason for his inattention. And thirdly, findings show that safeguards put in place to ensure that drivers are paying attention to the road while Autopilot is engaged are insufficient.

That last point is the most damning for Tesla, Inc. It suggests more could have been done in the prevention of Brown’s death, and not just his case either. Any person in accidents while Autopilot is engaged can now put at least some of the blame on the car.

“Driving is an inherently visual task,” the NTSB explains. One way Tesla tries to ensure that drivers are paying attention is ensuring they keep their hands on the wheel. The public now gains information that the systems put in place to see to that are inadequate.

Inadequate is a strong word. It is especially hurtful in reference to the trusted self-guiding systems on the bulk of all Teslas. The steering wheel torque mechanism features on Autopilot versions 1.0 and 2.0. Those also happen to be the most widespread. Autopilot 2.5 is only a recent roll-out, being less than 2 months into its official release.

What does this mean for Tesla, Inc. Autopilot (NASDAQ:TSLA)?

From a new technical standpoint, Tesla, Inc. Autopilot versions 1.0 and 2.0 do not do enough to ensure driver safety. This also brings up a hard challenge for Elon Musk and his car business. Most of the cars sold now roam the road without enough safeguards once Autopilot is engaged.

It does look like Tesla had an idea that the safety board would land on this week’s conclusion. The most distinct feature on Autopilot 2.5 is a camera facing the driver. Its job is to make duly sure that drivers are paying attention to the road ahead as they should be. That, combined with a mandatory “hands-on-the-wheel” notice should be enough to please transportation safety boards worldwide.

It is more than likely that 2.5 was rolled out to counter the perception that Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TESLA,) simply is not doing enough. Version 2.0 was less than a year into its roll-out when 2.5 came out with the minimum need to please the NTSB. But what does this mean for the existing driver base, of which the overwhelming majority uses Autopilot 1.0 and 2.0?

Tesla, Inc. will have to explain a course of action soon. The company is unlikely to disable the Autopilot feature on its cars, but some form of address is needed. Share your thoughts on Tesla, Inc. and its Autopilot system below. Has the company done enough to ensure driver safety?

The shares of NASDAQ:TSLA are up more than 3 percent. Investors are excited by teasers of an incoming self-driving, electric truck. The heavy duty vehicle will be shown to the public in October. By the looks of it, the trucking industry is nothing short of excited for the innovations the new vehicle will bring.

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Mvusi Ngubane

6 Comments

  1. It is not a new camera nor is it a response to this incident There has been a forward facing camera from day one. It is to enhance GPUs. Seriously, if you flash the screen in front of the driver, and sound warning alarms for 6 minutes prior to the crash, and the driver ignores that, is that the fault of Tesla? The last action the driver took was to increase the speed of the vehicle. It is a tragic accident for sure. There are very few tools and assisted systems out there that will still protect you when you choose to ignore warnings. Yes, Tesla stepped it up now, and will even pull over the car and park it, if you choose to ignore the warnings. But chainsaws, dirt bikes, washers and dryers, even a plastic produce bag will allow me to injure or even kill myself, if I don’t adhere to the warnings!
  2. Model 3’s have a driver facing camera. But not the new S’s or X’s. They still have 8 external cameras. The purpose of the Model 3’s driver facing camera has not officially been revealed. But it may be for the purpose of driver attention. But is also may very well serve a purpose in the Tesla Network of driverless cars, where your car may be an Uber type service without a driver. But at least we’ll know who spilled the coffee or otherwise left your car a mess. The main point of my earlier response, is I believe you are providing misleading information and are ill advised. Sometimes we have to take our own responsibility.
  3. The only criticism the NTSB made (that Ap failed to annoy people stupid enough to use it without keeping at least one hand on the wheel ‘enough’) was fixed months – if not years – ago.
  4. Autopilot is still safer than without Autopilot. The media never mentions how many drivers died in accidents driving ICE cars in the same time frame since the start of Tesla Autopilot. Future autopilot will be autonomous– camera facing the driver will only record the headrest lol. Most people who criticize Autopilot don’t own a Tesla and never experienced its benefits.
  5. There are many deaths caused by people driving cars while texting…. are the cars manufacturers enabling enough safeguards to ensure that the drivers do not text and drive?… Where do we end?

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