One Little Update Could Keep Teslas From Catching Fire

Daniel Fowler
May 20, 2019

The crash, which happened on March 1 in Florida, killed the 50-year-old Tesla driver Jeremy Beren Banner. Neither report assigned blame on the driver or the vehicle.

"We now have well over half a million vehicles on the road, which is more than double the number that we had at the beginning of past year, and Tesla's team of battery experts uses that data to thoroughly investigate incidents that occur and understand the root cause", Tesla said.

The vehicle drove beneath the trailer, killing the driver, in a crash that is strikingly similar to one that happened on the other side of Florida in 2016 that also involved use of Autopilot.

The crash renews questions about the driver-assistance system's ability to detect hazards and has sparked concerns about the safety of systems that can perform driving tasks for extended stretches of time with little or no human intervention, but which cannot completely replace human drivers. "Engaging a turn signal or using any steering wheel button or scroll wheel also qualifies for your hands being detected". "The driver engaged the Autopilot about 10 seconds before the collision". At this time, however, Tesla has stated that it has yet to identify the issue that caused this latest Model S fire, so the update may not prevent whatever triggered these three fires.

"Neither the preliminary data nor the videos indicate that the driver or the ADAS executed evasive maneuvers", the NTSB report said. "We are deeply saddened by this accident and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy", the company said.

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According to the report, the auto was on Autopilot (Autonomous) mode when the crash took place and the vehicle failed to prevent it.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said previously asserted that serious accidents involving Autopilot are "almost always, in fact maybe always" caused by an inexperienced user.

"Either Autopilot can't see the broad side of an 18-wheeler, or it can't react safely to it", said Friedman, a vice president for advocacy at Consumer Reports. "It's [drivers] thinking they know more about Autopilot than they do".

One of it took place in 2017 and the other in 2018.

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