The autonomous driving vehicle technology is now beginning to make waves into headlines, and the latest one that comes from a self-driving car from Tesla might not be the news you would want to see printed on a newspaper. The car manufacturer recently announced that one of its cars had crashed in Beijing while it is on “autopilot” mode, and the driver contending sales staff sold the function as “self-driving.” Because of this recent development, it has returned the sparks of skepticism towards the technology.
Tesla Car Crashes In Beijing
Tesla stated that it had already reviewed the data to confirm that its vehicle was indeed in autopilot mode. For those who are not in the know, this is a system akin to the autopilot mode found in airplanes wherein the vehicle will take control of the steering, as well as braking, of the car under certain conditions.
The car manufacturer, which is now also investigating the crash in Beijing which took place last week, also stated that it was the responsibility of the driver to maintain control of the vehicle. Hence, if this is the case, then the driver’s hands were not detected during while on the steering wheel during the time of the crash.
This is the company’s first known incident following the fatal accident in Florida. Hence, the crash then leads to turning up the pressure towards auto industry executives and regulators as rules are expected to be tightened towards automated driving technology.
The driver of the Tesla vehicle Luo Zhen, a 33-year-old programmer at a tech firm, was driving to work and he then engaged the autopilot function as he would often do while on the highways of Beijing. He told this in his first interview to Reuters with the international media. Luo was able to film the incident with the dashboard camera, and he said that he had hit a vehicle that was parked half off the road. The crash resulted in sheering off the parked vehicle’s side mirror, as well as scraping both cars. There were no injuries involved in the incident.
A Tesla spokeswoman told Reuters the following in an email response: “The driver of the Tesla, whose hands were not detected on the steering wheel, did not steer to avoid the parked car and instead scraped against its side. As clearly communicated to the driver in the vehicle, autosteer is an assist feature that requires the driver to keep his hands on the steering wheel at all times, to always maintain control and responsibility for the vehicle, and to be prepared to take over at any time.”
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