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Report into fatal Tesla crash clears company of blame, says driver kept hands off wheel...

By midian182 ยท 7 replies
Jun 20, 2017
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  1. The first fatality involving Tesla’s Autopilot feature led to questions over the safety of the semi-autonomous system last year, but a report published by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concludes that Elon Musk’s company was not at fault.

    While the cause of the crash has still not been determined, the 538-page report states that driver Joshua Brown had his hands off the wheel of the Tesla Model S "for the vast majority of the trip." This was despite receiving seven visual warnings, six of which also sounded a chime, to maintain control during the 37-minute journey.

    Brown also drove at 74 miles per hour – above the 65-mph limit – and the car’s systems detected no manual attempts to brake prior to the crash.

    The sedan, which was in autopilot mode, drove underneath a tractor trailer that was crossing the highway on May 7, 2016. A witness described the scene as being “just a white cloud, like just a big white explosion.” Brown "took no braking, steering or other actions to avoid the collision," according to the report.

    The NTSB’s report matches the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s view of the incident. Earlier this year, the NHTSA released its own report, which also concluded that Joshua had ignored the manufacturer's warnings to keep his hands on the wheel.

    The NTSB found no record of a forward collision warning or automatic emergency braking at the time or the moments leading up to the crash.

    Brown family lawyer Jack Landskroner told Reuters the NTSB's findings prove previous reports that Brown was watching a movie at the time of the crash were false. He added that the family has not taken any legal action against Tesla and was still reviewing the NTSB report.

    Following the accident, Tesla said both the autopilot system and the driver failed to notice the white trailer against the bright sky. It led to the company updating the autopilot system last September to become radar-based, rather than a camera-based.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,285

    I can see every time some brainless twit manages to prang a Tesla through their own gross stupidity will still try lay the blame on the cars autopilot and hopefully they'll be set for life from a successful lawsuit. Good luck with that. No matter how advanced and safer tech becomes with regard to automotive tech, it only takes one half wit to prove all that effort was for nothing. Great tech will never, ever be a match for great idiocy.
  3. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,139   +1,402

    Huh? Be set for life from a lawsuit? The story says that the dead guy's family isn't filing a lawsuit. Winning a pile of money isn't worth much you're dead anyway.

    And it doesn't make it 'all for nothing' - this story proves how carefully they can investigate crashes on cars with this tech - this is FAR more than you normally get from a fatal crash. This means we that there is much more information to help prevent future crashes. It also proves that Tesla wasn't at fault. Again - this helps move the tech forward.

    "Great tech will never, ever be a match for great idiocy." But if the tech is close - that'll be good enough for those of us who aren't big *****s. ;)
    H3llion likes this.
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,285

    I wasn't alluding to the guy who got killed, I was talking about people in general who crumple up their cars (all future autonomous cars) because of their stupidity hoping they can get recompensed with a lawsuit, much in the same way someone who wastes somebody for their life insurance payout, if you get my drift.
    Reehahs likes this.
  5. TheBigT42

    TheBigT42 TS Maniac Posts: 290   +176

    I believe he committed suicide and tried to make it look like Tesla's fault so his family could sue...

    Have no proof or any other evidence just an opinion.
  6. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 630   +403

    Finally, the truth is out. I am terribly sorry for Brown's family for their loss but this tragedy should not be an entitlement to twist the facts. If they can afford to buy a Tesla and take their hands off the wheel, I bet they must have a fortune and does not care for other people's safety. Stop finding ways to milk and do damage to Tesla's reputation.

    Edit: Looking at Brown's youtube channel, he is an admirer of the tesla cars. I can also conclude based from his videos description that he likes to see what his car can do. Maybe this is the reason why he did not engage manual driving as he was confident his car would protect him. Too bad, driving in the road is like a point of no return for your actions. RIP.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
  7. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Evangelist Posts: 546   +297

    This is what happens when you don't pay attention.

    Until all cars are autonomous I would not take your hands off the wheel, you're basically leaving your life in the hands of a computer at this point.
  8. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,880   +3,315

    So ..... and perhaps I'm ignorant here but, what is the purpose of having such a system if you are expected to keep your hands on the wheel??? Doesn't that simply defeat the entire purpose of having the system in the first place? I saw that one of their chief engineers working on the system just quit .... could it be the lemon that has been claimed?

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