Autopilot Tesla accused of killing people

Critics accuse the autopilot system is not effective enough to work

Evgeniy Opanasenko

Today, 08:35

Автопилот Tesla обвиняют в убийстве людей

Elon Musk has promised to improve autopilot Tesla Model 3

The national safety Board of transportation published a report that documented four deaths related to errors autopilot Tesla Model 3. The Council took over the investigation after the fourth accident, which occurred on March 1, 2019, which is the fault of the autopilot died.

In the latest accident, the Commission will amaze the fact that details of the accident almost identical to the first tragic event of a fatal accident the autopilot in may of 2016 – each accident Tesla with the autopilot crashed into a truck crossing the road, killing the driver.

Автопилот Tesla обвиняют в убийстве людей

The consequences of the accident Tesla Model 3, moving on autopilot

The head of Tesla Elon Musk has promised that in 2020, the autopilot will be so improved that the driver is not required at all. According to critics, the autopilot system luxury electric cars are not efficient enough and makes mistakes, and also accuse the company that they company presents the system as more capable than she really is. New crash casts doubt on the accounting errors “Tesla” and prompt their correction.

Fatality 1 March 2019

In the March crash of a red Tesla Model 3 was traveling South in the right lane of state road 441 in Delray beach, about 110 miles North of Miami. The truck left from a private road on the right side of the highway, intending to turn left and head North. The report says that the truck slowed down, crossing the lane, “blocking the way Tesla”. The car crashed into a trailer at a speed of 110 km/h, not trying to make any manoeuvres of evasion. Tesla Model 3 drove under the truck, with the result that the electric car was blown off a roof and killed 50-year-old driver.

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When studying a “black box” it turned out that the autopilot on Model 3 included about 10 seconds before the accident, and the car did not fix the driver’s hands on the wheel for 8 seconds, immediately preceding impact. The representative of the Tesla confirms this. In the report it is not reported how far was the Tesla when the truck left the road, and not marked by weather conditions that could affect the vehicle’s ability to brake. It is therefore unclear could the driver not using the autopilot, to stay safe.

Calculations suggests that the driver Model 3 would require a few seconds to assess the situation and avoid an accident. At a given speed the car travels 30 meters per second. The braking distance Model 3 at a speed of 100 km/h is about 40 feet. The car could stop in 75 meters. Add 1.5 seconds to the actions of the driver by braking and, like, three seconds would be enough.

Death 7 may 2016

May 7, 2016 40-year-old Josh brown died in very similar circumstances. Its Model S was working on autopilot as he drove North on highway 27A in Northern Florida. Towards drove the truck. Tesla stopped traffic and drove at the speed of 125 km/h (with speed limit of 110 km/h), held under the truck, tore the roof and killed brown. Then the car traveled another 100 meters, hard enough hit the pole and through 15 meters stopped. The truck driver was not injured.

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Then it became obvious that the truck driver had to give Tesla, and brown was inattentive. But some of the blame rests on Tesla, which allowed the driver to over-rely on the automation system over a long period.

After the death of brown, Tesla has reduced the time during which the driver can not touch the steering wheel before the system will give audible and visual warnings. Went through a few iterations of hardware and software. But the circumstances of the accident indicate that when driving at high speed the system is still not capable of detecting some stationary objects or objects moving perpendicular to the car. Probably for the same reason, at least three Tesla crashed into standing fire trucks in 2018 (without serious injury).

Opinion Tesla

Tesla Model 3, which was in the last accident, were equipped with cameras that were, theoretically, to detect the truck crossing the path of the machine. Tesla did not respond to a request for Wired about how the system uses radar and camera or what steps have been taken to avoid such accidents.

At the same time, Tesla optimistic about the capabilities of machine vision camera technology, which should allow “full self-driving”, according to the Mask, without the need for human observation. Last month, head of technical Department at Tesla Autopulot Andrew Karpati stated that Tesla believes that it can use machine learning methods and camera to take their cars for quality drivers. Musk went further and said: “I quite confidently predict the emergence of an Autonomous, robotaxi from Tesla in the next year.”

See also the story about how in the USA made tractor with autopilot:

Earlier, Tesla Model S suddenly caught fire in the Parking lot. And recently a Tesla equipped with a “dog” mode.

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