NTSB Confirms Tesla Speeding in Trailer Truck Accident

truck accident

A bright sky supposedly made the white truck invisible to Tesla’s autopilot system.

You may have heard about the fatal Tesla accident that happened in Florida last May. The high profile case drew the attention of many as people began to question the safety of “self-driving” vehicles. The National Transportation Safety Board recently released a preliminary report on the incident that sheds light on some new details.

The Accident

The report tells that the incident occurred along a stretch of U.S. 27A, west of Williston, Florida. It’s a modern four-lane highway with some cross traffic, and the trailer was a 53-foot van transporting blueberries to a local farm. News stories have indicated that the Autopilot nor the Tesla’s driver saw the trailer. The white trailer against a bright sky made it completely invisible to the car’s cameras and sensors, causing the car to drive right into the trailer.

Now, the NTSB has confirmed that the Tesla driver was also speeding (74 mph in 65 mph zone) right up to the moment of impact, which explains why the tractor trailer turned left in front of the approaching car. The truck driver must have thought he had more time, but it still raises the possibility of a failure-to-yield charge against the truck driver.

Autonomous Vehicles

Had the driver of the Tesla been paying attention to where his car was going instead of watching a Harry Potter movie (the truck driver claimed he heard audio playing after the car crash) he would have put his foot on the brake pedal and likely avoided the crash altogether. And Tesla has said that’s exactly what he should have done. The NTSB is still investigating and will cite the cause of the accident in a later report. For now, speculations run high on the future of autonomous vehicles and their safety.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 at 7:04 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.