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US agency releases report on Tesla crash

“Drivers need to pay attention while driving, even as technology gradually takes over the task” – that’s the message US safety regulators have delivered after closing an investigation into a fatal Tesla crash in Florida last year involving the vehicle’s Autopilot system, reports the Los Angeles Times. “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) concluded that the driver-assist software in the Tesla Model S had no safety defects and declined to issue a recall.” The safety board also studied less-serious Tesla crashes and said it didn’t find “any incidents in which the systems did not perform as designed. But while completely self-driving vehicles may be on the way, automatic braking, adaptive cruise control and other driver-assist technologies now on the market still require “continual and full attention of a driver”, NHTSA spokesman Bryan Thomas said. Hod Lipson, professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia University, said NHTSA’s finding were “a vindication not only of Tesla, but of the entire self-driving car industry. Yes, driverless cars are going to have accidents. But they’re going to have fewer accidents than humans,” he said. “And unlike humans, driverless cars are going to keep getting better, halving the number of accidents per mile every so many months. The sooner we get on that exponential trajectory, the better.” However, the US Consumer Watchdog agency said: “NHTSA has wrongly accepted Tesla's line and blamed the human, rather than the Autopilot technology and Tesla’s aggressive marketing.” Read LA Times here and Consumer Watchdog: here. The NHTSA report appears to have gone offline.

  • Tuesday, 24 January 2017

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