A 50-year-old man has died while relying on Tesla’s Autopilot advanced driver assistance system. Jeremy Beren Banner is the fourth person to be involved in a fatal crash caused by the Autopilot system.
On March 1st, Banner was sadly killed while driving along a Florida highway at 68 mph. His Tesla Model 3 collided with a tractor-trailer that was crossing his path, tearing the roof off at the car. The vehicle came to a stop 1,600 feet away from the site of impact.
The National Transportation Safety board revealed in a preliminary report in May, that Banner turned Autopilot on about 10 seconds before the collision. The agency claim that the vehicle “didn’t detect the driver’s hands on the steering wheel” between 8 seconds before the crash and the time of impact.
The family of Jeremy Beren Banner is suing for wrongful death, asking for damages of more than $15,000.
Tesla claims that Banner didn’t comply with the company’s instructions, and vehicle data logs show he “immediately removed his hands from the wheel”, according to NTSB and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In the past, Musk completely blamed the accidents on the “complacency” of “inexperienced users”, despite him demonstrating how to drive hands-free.
They just get too used to it. That tends to be more of an issue. It’s not a lack of understanding of what Autopilot can do. It’s [drivers] thinking they know more about Autopilot than they do.
Similar incidents have occurred in the past, which suggest that, despite using different technology from Israeli company Mobileye, Tesla didn’t address the fundamental issues with the technology. With Musk’s flippancy, it’s, unfortunately, likely we’ll see similar incidences in the future.