Driver Charged Over 2019 Fatal Crash Involving Tesla with AutoPilot Engaged
Semi-autonomous driving systems are coming, in fact they’re here – but they’re not universally accepted. Some see them as the eighth wonder of the world and the way of the future, while others decry them as the worst invention the automotive world ever didn’t need.
The truth likely lies somewhere in between. With all new technologies, the most important elements are how they are used and the choices that human beings using them make.
When it comes to drive-assist systems and autonomous-drive technologies, a pertinent legal case has emerged in California. Prosecutors there have decided to charge a driver who was using the AutoPilot semi-autonomous driving system of their Tesla when it ran a light and crashed into a Honda Civic, killing both of that vehicle’s occupants on impact. The accident occurred in 2019 in Gardena, California. The charge? Vehicular manslaughter.
According to the Washington Post, the accused driver is the first in the United States to be charged with a felony over a fatal crash while using a semi-autonomous driving system. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed to the newspaper that the system was in use at the time of the collision. The defendant has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The families of the victims are suing both the driver of the car and the manufacturer that offers the technology.Read more