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Tesla Autopilot Linked to Increased Fatalities and Crashes, says new report

Tesla Autopilot Linked to Increased Fatalities and Crashes, says new report:

The Washington Post has reported that Tesla’s autopilot system is connected to a higher number of fatalities and crashes than previously disclosed, with these figures showing a surge. This situation poses challenges for Elon Musk’s vision of achieving fully autonomous driving. In a recent interview , Musk shared his thoughts on the progress of this technology.

Elon Musk expressed optimism about the prospects, stating that it appears likely to happen this year. However, he acknowledged that there are still limitations to consider, particularly when it comes to highway and urban driving, where the human factor remains crucial.

Washington Post reporter Siddiqui in CNBC channel says:

When comparing the numbers, it’s crucial to contextualize them within the broader spectrum of non-self-driving cars. It’s not intended as an isolated critique of Tesla alone. To put it into perspective, there were over 40,000 traffic crash deaths last year, according to NITSA. Therefore, within that context, these incidents represent a smaller proportion. However, our focus is on crashes and fatalities involving Driver Assistance technology itself. It’s worth noting that cars equipped with driver assistance tend to be newer and safer vehicles, operating under specific conditions. They are often utilized on highways, alongside vehicles from other manufacturers. Full autonomy discussions typically revolve around geofenced areas. Thus, the fundamental question arises: What level of toll are we willing to accept as a society in pursuit of automation?

In addition, our analysis revealed instances where motorcycles were involved in some of the accidents. It is important to note that we are not attributing blame solely to motorcycles. However, upon analyzing the Tesla data, we found specific recurring patterns. For example, incidents involving emergency vehicles like fire trucks were frequent. We also highlighted a case where a Tesla on autopilot struck a 17-year-old who was disembarking from a school bus. The family reported that the car did not react as a human driver would, even at the last moment, failing to veer or apply the brakes. The impact occurred at a speed of 45 miles per hour, creating a distinct type of collision. These patterns suggest that certain scenarios, including encounters with motorcycles, emergency vehicles, and sudden braking, pose challenges for Tesla’s autopilot system.

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