I.n Texas, two people were killed in an accident with a Tesla that apparently drove autonomously – and without anyone sitting in the driver’s seat. As American media reported on Sunday, the car turned off the road north of the city of Houston, hit a tree at high speed and went up in flames.
“Our preliminary investigation suggests – but it has not yet been completed – that no one was behind the wheel of this vehicle,” said a police officer to the “Wall Street Journal”. That is “almost 99.9 percent certain”.
It has not yet been possible to determine whether the airbag on the driver’s side had been triggered and whether the car’s driver assistance system had been switched on at the time of the accident. When the police arrived, according to the report, one of the victims was sitting in the passenger seat and the other was in the back seat.
Evidently disregarded warnings
Tesla calls its driver assistance system autopilot. The company warns, however, that active monitoring by the driver is necessary. The person in the driver’s seat must have their hands on the steering wheel and be ready to take the wheel at all times. Although the functions would become more and more powerful over time, they did not yet make the vehicle fully autonomous.
However, videos are often shared on the Internet in which drivers have not had their hands on the steering wheel for a long time or have even fallen asleep.
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