The team at Tesla said that the auto pilot was active in the Tesla vehicle was involved in the fatal crash in California in which the driver of the Tesla Model X crossover perished in the highway collision.
The timing could not be worse not only for Tesla, but for the entire self driving movement which has come under siege recently when the Tesla crash is combined with the Uber self driving crash that struck and killed a pedestrian in Phoenix, Arizona recently. The company does claim that the driver of the vehicle which crashed in California had been warned prior to get his hands on the wheel of the car and take human control.
The company released a statement saying that the concrete barriers were in full view approximately 500 feet out of where the crash occurred and they reiterated the logs in the vehicle show that no human action was undertaken. What the company avoided in its comments were why didn’t their safety system identify that there was a concrete barrier and take necessary avoidance protocols that should be part of any standard autonomous driving platform.
The company also rolled out some of the facts and stas that all autonomous driving advocates are pulling out which include that the is one fatality every eighty plus million mile on American highways and that Tesla cars equipped with the Autopilot hardware there is one fatality in every three hundred and twenty miles. The company stresses that all of the AutoPilot users must sign off on promising that they keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times before they can actually start using the auto features, however, as human nature is, many don’t see this step as a necessity.
The company did issue a statement that it was recalling over one hundred and twenty thousand Model 6s’ to replace power steering bolts that may seize up when exposed to colder temperatures for extended periods of time, especially those climates that see salt used to combat extended winter periods.