After a good period of bonanza, Tesla has once again been the focus of doubts about the new autonomous driving systems, after the accident of a Tesla Model S occurred in the United States in which, with no one at the wheel, two men have lost their lives.
According to preliminary reports to which they have had access KHOU Y Wall street journal, it seems that the car was traveling at high speed and could not turn, which caused him to end up going off the road, and finally crashing into a tree. However, the most curious thing about the investigation is the distribution of the passengers: one of the injured men was sitting in the front passenger seat, while the second was located in one of the rear seats, so as Harris County Agent Mark Herman shared, “Nobody was driving the Tesla”.
In the absence of knowing if the vehicle had the driving assistance functions activated, it would be treated as follows the first fatal crash in which no one was in the driver’s seat, That would add to the list of up to 23 autopilot-related crashes that are being investigated by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
For a long time there has been the concern that users overestimate this technology and assume they can take their hands off the wheel, or as in this case, even leave the driver’s seat entirely. However, even the beta version of “Full Self Driving” does not offer complete autonomy, and must be ready to take control at any given moment, even the car itself displaying messages for the driver to take the wheel if it is left alone for too long.
Thus, all eyes are now on the previous statements of Elon Musk, who rejected requests from its Tesla engineers to add better security monitoring when a vehicle is on autopilot, with devices such as eye-tracking cameras or additional sensors on the steering wheel, the CEO alleges that this technology is “ineffective.”
Two men dead after fiery crash in Tesla Model S.
“[Investigators] are 100-percent certain that no one was in the driver seat driving that vehicle at the time of impact, ”Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said. “They are positive.” # KHOU11 https://t.co/q57qfIXT4f pic.twitter.com/eQMwpSMLt2
– Matt Dougherty (@MattKHOU) April 18, 2021
On the other hand, the accident also serves as a reminder and alert for the emergency teams themselves, who have yet to fully adapt to the new lithium batteries that equip these electric cars. And it is that as the reports of the forces involved indicate, extinguishing the fire of this Tesla Model S took almost four hours and 113,000 liters of waterThe emergency team even got in touch with the company for help and directions.
However, this does not imply that electric vehicles are more dangerous by design than current gasoline models, although as has been seen, it does require different action protocols.