Can You Avoid A New Haven Auto Accident On Autopilot?

December 22, 2023
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Whether you drive a Tesla vehicle or have seen them around the Elm City you know that they sleek looking vehicles are an achievement in auto engineering mixed with best in class technology. These vehicles have become synonymous with being at the forefront of the autonomous vehicle revolution that many claim is coming. What happens when a car drives itself using the autopilot setting in the Tesla vehicles? Does the vehicle know how to avoid a New Haven auto accident?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the answer is a very clear no.

The NHTSA launched an investigation into the Tesla autopilot system to determine whether or not the system was providing sufficient safe guards for those who are utilizing the system to continue to pay attention to the road in front of them. The investigation was launched after it was clear, from multiple accidents, some of which lead to the death of the driver, that the system that Tesla had put in place was problamatic.

Tesla launched the autopilot feature in 2015. This system, which has a very deceiving name, can accelerate and decelerate the car and it can keep the vehicle in the lane that it is traveling in. It cannot, however, truly drive the car autonomously. The expectation when using this technology is that the driver will still maintain their attention and keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. This is where the investigation from the NHTSA comes in.

The NHTSA conducted the two-year long investigation into the autopilot system that comes with Tesla vehicles, but more importantly into the system that the auto maker uses to alert drivers when they are not paying close enough attention. Basically the system works by alerting a driver when their hands are no longer on the wheel. This is meant to bring their attention back to the road and to driving the vehicle, however the NHTSA investigation found that the system “can lead to foreseeable misuse of the system” and that it was insufficient for the purpose it was trying to serve.

Tesla, who has long fought this characterization of its technology, has agreed to recall 2 million vehicles across its fleet of cars to address this issue. As with many fixes that the auto maker makes to it’s vehicles, the update will be done via the vehicle’s software system.

Driving a Tesla vehicle can be exciting as you might feel like you are on the edge of a revolution in car technology, but there are also some glaring questions about the safety of these vehicles. Auto regulators are starting to address these issues and Tesla is starting to take note. Whether you drive a Tesla regularly or share the road with them like many of us do, it is important to know that technology has it’s limitations and there is no better way to avoid a New Haven auto accident then by keeping your eyes on the road in front of you and your hands on the steering wheel.

If an accident happens between you and a Tesla or you are driving a Tesla and get injured you may need to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact our office and speak with an attorney who has experience with similar situations and we will work with you to protect your long-term interests.