WASHINGTON — The death of the Tesla Model S owner who smashed when utilizing the vehicle’s Autopilot driver assist his place a spotlight around the industry’s move toward automatic driving systems in a critical juncture.
The crash marked the very first known traffic fatality concerning an automatic driving system, a event seen by many people policymakers, car manufacturers and technology companies as inevitable. However the Tesla incident is for certain to help the discussion of policymakers and also the public because the industry pushes much deeper into automated and self-driving technologies.
This month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to release new rules for the safe deployment of self-driving cars and automated driving technologies. The innovation is being proclaimed via automakers and technology firms, for example, Google for its capability to ease congestion and reduce accidents.
But Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, says that the Tesla incident puts a spotlight on the limitations of current automated driving systems and could prompt NHTSA to re-evaluate its coming guidelines.
In a blog post a week ago, Tesla said the driver, and the vehicle’s radar and cameras, failed to identify the white side of a tractor-trailer as it drove over the highway opposite to the Model S against a hazy sky. The driver, distinguished by the Florida Highway Patrol as Joshua Brown, died from injuries sustained during the accident.
News of Brown’s death a week ago incited Consumer Watchdog,a consumer and safety advocacy group, to urge NHTSA to “moderate its surge” for guidelines until NHTSA’s test is completed and automakers illustrate “self-driving” cars are safe.
A day after Brown’s death was disclosed, NHTSA released new data showinga 7.7 percent hop in U.S. activity fatalities to 35,200 in 2015, the highest increase in at least a decade
Talking at the National Press Club before Brown’s death was declared a week ago, Christopher Hart, executive of the National Transportation Safety Board, said the primary such crash would “certainly get a lot of attention, however this train has left the station” and would be unrealistic to stop automated cars from hitting the road.