First Death Related to Tesla's Autopilot System

On May 7, Joshua D. Brown died when his Tesla Model S collided with a tractor-trailer. The manufacturer declared today that when the accident occurred, the Autopilot system was activated.

This is the first time this semi-autonomous driving aid is directly associated with a deadly crash.

Here’s how it supposedly went down: the electric car was driving down a U.S. highway. Further up, a semi-trailer truck initiated a left turn; neither the Autopilot’s sensors nor the driver applied the brakes, and the Tesla collided with the side of the trailer. The sedan then went under the trailer's middle section, ripping off the car’s roof, continued for a while and finally came to a rest in a field.

Tesla and the NHTSA opened an investigation to learn more about what happened.

There are some questions that arise from this crash: first of all, just how wide is the Tesla's ''field of view''? Since the trailer was long and elevated, it is possible that there was an empty space right in front of the car (although reports suggest that the trailer was white and couldn't be distinguished from the sky by the computer). I am also curious as to why the driver didn't slam on the brakes; is it possible he put too much faith in the system and wasn't paying attention to the road?

UPDATE: According to the truck driver, who was the first to assist the driver of the Tesla on the crash scene, a movie was playing in the car. Furthermore, police report states that a portable DVD player was found among the debris.

Share on Facebook

More on the subject

ElectricTesla Model S: New Look and More Technology
Tesla just updated their website, and a tab for configuring the Model S has been added. Thanks to this, we can now see the sedan’s new nose. It looks similar to the Model 3 which has been unveiled a few days ago. This is the first cosmetic update for the …
BlogThe Car Guide Visits Tesla’s Factory
A few weeks ago, The Car Guide took a tour of Tesla’s installations in California. This immersion in the universe of the electric car allowed us to draw a complete picture of the Tesla brand, its owner and its cars. Here’s the first article of a full report on Tesla …
ElectricTesla's Plan Enters Phase Two
Back when Tesla Motors was founded, Elon Musk had a four-part plan: Create a low-volume car, which would necessarily be expensive Use that money to develop a medium-volume car at a lower price Use that money to create an affordable, high-volume car Provide solar power. That was 10 years ago.
ElectricTesla's Autopilot Helps Save a Life
In the last few weeks, we talked about the accident in which a Tesla owner was killed when its car collided at a high speed with a tractor trailer. The Autopilot (as well as the owner’s lack of attention) was blamed. However, this technology can be used in a reasonable …
NewsCalifornia Jury Says Tesla's Autopilot Not To Blame In Fatal 2019 Crash
A California jury on Tuesday rejected a claim that a Tesla car involved in a fatal 2019 crash had a manufacturer's defect in its "Autopilot" self-driving feature, according to a court spokesperson. The civil suit accused Tesla of "reckless and negligent behavior" after the high-speed incident near Los Angeles, in …