Tesla is known for striving to make autonomous driving a norm in times to come and its Autopilot technology has been evolving with time.
The number of crashes involving Tesla Autopilot in the last few years is alarming. Tesla is the largest electric carmaker in the world. It has been the torch-bearer when it comes to EVs for over a decade now. One could easily credit it for the electrification revolution that the global automobile industry finds itself in at the moment. However, its massive ambitions regarding autonomous driving could also be taken as a risk since a lot of people carelessly misuse it causing horrific accidents. Here are the details of what has happened due to these people in the last few years.
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Tesla Autopilot Crashes
As per a recent report by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) of the USA, the Autopilot software of Tesla has been involved in 736 crashes in which 17 people have lost their lives. This is according to the data collected since 2019. What is interesting is the fact that 14 out of these 17 deaths occurred after June 2022 alone. The reason for this could be the rapid integration of “full self-driving” software being available in 40,000 Tesla cars as opposed to just 12,000 at the time. Out of a total of 807 autonomous driving-related cases, 736 are from Tesla and 23 from Subaru.
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In the USA and Canada, Tesla offers EV owners access to the FSD Beta functionality from the time of purchase or as a subscription option. Since more people are getting access to these autonomous features, more cases of people misusing them are emerging. Hence, the reason might not be the inefficiency of this system but the carelessness and complacency of the car owners. That is a concerning trend which will only worsen as the technology becomes more widely available even on other non-Tesla cars.
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What We Think
Looking at the way things are going in the global automobile industry, more EV players are emerging from various parts of the world and autonomous driving is a critical feature they are promising. With the rapid increase in the number of electronics being used in modern cars, the possibility and the utility of incorporating such active safety features is certainly evident and justified. However, there is hardly anything that could be done to tackle the stupidity of car owners. If they decide to misuse such features, they are not just jeopardising their own safety but also the safety of others on the roads. Stricter laws might be the only solution to deal with such cases.