How Tesla’s First Fatal Autopilot Crash Happened

Just a few days ago we were first alerted to the news of Tesla’s first Autopilot crash and the sad outcome it had. People keep asking how it happened and what caused it. That is what we are going to take a look at in this post. But first, Tesla has always been at the forefront of innovation and it might just be that the Autopilot feature was rolled out a little too fast.

On June 30, news reports started surfacing saying regulators are looking into what happened and if the fatal accident could be entirely attributed to Tesla’s Autopilot feature. It is suspected that the Tesla car’s, a Model S, Autopilot feature could not distinguish the difference between the white tractor trailer and the sky behind it. This kept the car going. The driver also seems to have failed to notice the white tractor trailer which is why the accident happened according to the first reports.

The whole scenario is drawn up in a police report and it tells a story of an accident that is, unfortunately, quite common among manually driven cars as well. Tesla has on several occasions said that their Autopilot feature is not meant as a “switch on and forget” feature. It is meant as a feature to momentarily relieve exhausted drivers so they can regain focus and continue driving. Too many people seem to think that the Autopilot is more advanced than it actually is.

The Tesla car and the driver failed to notice the tractor’s white trailer and the car went straight underneath it. The car’s roof hit the trailer but the car kept going hitting two fences and a power post. The accident was reported at 4:41 PM on May 7th and the driver of the Tesla Model S car, Joshua David Brown, was pronounced deceased at 4:51 PM. This suggests that the driver was killed instantly when it hit the trailer. This is Tesla’s own press release about the tragic loss and Autopilot accident.

Tesla Model S Fatal Autopilot Crash Police Report

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Tesl Autopilot Crash Police Report

Tesla Autopilot Crash Aerial Photo

How A Tesla Car Autopilot Systems Views The World

How Tesla Cra View Its Surroundings

Tesla Autopilot Crash Car