Ever since Tesla debuted its Autopilot program, the company has been running into issues. Residents of New York who are concerned about the safety of Tesla's semi-autonomous vehicles may have heard about the crash that recently took place in Utah. The driver of Tesla Model S collided with a firetruck even though Autopilot was on, the reason being that the driver was looking down at her phone.
Although the driver wasn't seriously injured, this accident received widespread attention from news media, prompting the Tesla CEO and supporters of the company to respond. However, rather than say that Tesla will ensure more rigorous safety standards or have federal car regulators oversee the issues, the CEO expressed amazement that such a minor accident would become front-page news when other more serious accidents receive no coverage.
Many have pointed out the holes in logic. Car accidents are covered virtually every day on the news, but this one is important because it involves technology that has yet to be proven safe. A RAND study has shown that self-driving cars must be test-driven for billions of miles before one can say that they are safer than human drivers. Tesla has so far developed its technology in a regulatory vacuum. Lastly, the accident reveals how Autopilot makes drivers complacent and more prone to distraction.
Whether or not Tesla will address these concerns in the future, victims of auto accidents can still exercise their right to compensation if they were injured through no fault of their own. They may want to consult with an accident attorney about their case. Attorneys might bring in professionals to reconstruct the accident and find out how the other driver was negligent. Attorneys may then be able to negotiate for a fair settlement with the auto insurance company, litigating if necessary.