BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Tesla’s reputation dropped after the deadly driverless car accident. The automotive industry had feared such a moment would come. The death of a pilot who was driving a semiautonomous car built by Tesla Motors could spark public controversy before these models even reach the market.
Other major tech companies and automakers, like Uber and Google, are now developing fully autonomous cars, and there is concern that big publicity around the crash may hurt their intentions. Joshua Brown, aged 40, from Canton, Ohio, has lost his life on May 7th, in Williston.
According to official statements by Tesla, issued on Thursday, the camera on Tesla Model S did not distinguish the white side of a tractor from a lit, clear sky, and as a consequence did not activate its brakes.
Brown did not take control either, to activate the brakes. Brown was a strong Tesla supporter. It was only this April he posted a video online, giving credit to Tesla Model S intriguing Autopilot system for preventing a car crash when a truck turned aside violently into his lane on a busy interstate.
Experts in the industry have said that they need to proceed with care as they begin to introduce larger numbers of semiautonomous features, like adaptive cruise control or automatic braking. People may quickly rely on them, assuming they work better than they do in fact. The possibility of a deadly car crash was always a major concern.
Bryant Smith, professor of law at the University of South Carolina said that autonomous technology isn’t yet ready for mass production. Tesla pointed out that the Autopilot system still needs to be configured manually, and that drivers have to take control and responsibility for their car. The autopilot keeps improving, but it isn’t perfect, and it requires the driver to keep an eye on the car at all times.
The accident was clearly a huge blow to Tesla’s reputation. That’s because the company insisted on their safety and advanced technology. The situation has taken them by surprise. Tesla’s shares went down by 3 percent on Friday, but they soon recovered, totaling $213.94 per share by noon.
Aside from Tesla’s reputation, the accident could make the public more skeptical about autonomous and semiautonomous cars. Tell us what you think: should we trust semiautonomous cars, or not?
Image Source – Wikipedia