The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has published a part of its findings from an investigation into the crashing of a Tesla Model S with a firetruck in LA. The Model S was on autopilot when it collided into a firetruck. No one was hurt, and the driver was actually quite lucky to have made out of the accident without sustaining any severe injury.
It has been revealed that the driver had the autopilot activated and had their hands off the wheel for most of last few minutes before crashing into the firetruck. In a nutshell, the latest finding has confirmed what many were already expecting; the driver was not paying the attention that was required of him while he was allowing his Tesla to drive him.
The NTSB tweeted that it has released part of the findings, while the final accident brief would be published in a day. The study has established that the autopilot was switched on during the time of the crash. It has been further established that the driver of the Tesla Model S had his hands on the wheel for only 51 seconds of the total 13 minutes and 48 seconds of the drive’s final phase. The driver didn’t have his hands on the wheel at all for the last three minutes and forty-one seconds before the crash happened.
Upon questioning by the NTSB about what he was doing before the crash, the driver responded by saying, ‘I was having a coffee and a bagel. And all I remember, that truck, and then I just saw the boom in my face, and that was it.’ Another recent study that was carried out by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has shown that there exists some confusion when it comes to the Tesla’s autopilot feature and other advanced driver assistance systems by other car manufacturers.
The reason for the confusion is quite obvious; the name autopilot actually implies that you can sit back and allow the car to take over. Whereas, in reality; you need to have your hands on the wheel and pay attention to the road even when you have the autopilot system engaged. Although Tesla is not to be blamed here since it has been established that the driver should have been paying attention; some have made the argument that the driver assistance software’s name by Tesla is misleading.