China had been lucky thus far with only one Tesla accident as opposed to quite a few others reported in the US. However, the news is not so good this time!
A fatal Tesla Model S accident is currently under investigation in the Chinese province of Hebei. The tragic crash resulted in the death of the 23 year-old driver names Gao Yaning. Model S hit an orange-coloured street sweeping vehicle on a highway side.
The family of the dead driver is suing Tesla for Autopilot failed to prevent the crash. However, Tesla has questioned if the Autopilot was activated when the Model S was hit.
“Because of the damage caused by the collision, the car was physically incapable of transmitting log data to our servers and we therefore have no way of knowing whether or not Autopilot was engaged at the time of the crash.”
Tesla has tried to convince Yaning’s s father, who owned the car, to collaborate for the investigation of the accident:
“but he has not provided us with any additional information that would allow us to do so.”
The video captured by the dashcam reveals that the Tesla did not slow down or do anything to avoid the accident before it was hit. Yaning was driving on the left side while the street sweeping truck was partially in his lane.
Tesla has repeatedly emphasised the fact that the AutoPilot is an assisting system, not an autonomous one! The owner’s manual for Model S warns the drivers to:
“Always pay attention to the road ahead and stay prepared to take immediate corrective action.”
Regardless of the implications, the accident has once again raised questions about the reliability of the autonomous and semi-autonomous driving systems.