First Tesla Autopilot Crash May Have Been Due to Driver Watching Harry Potter

Article by Christian A., on July 9, 2016

However strongly automakers advise their customers, there are just times when the inevitable happens. Just earlier this month, the first fatality to have occurred in over 130 miles of autonomous driving was recorded. This is the first recorded person to have died while driving a semi-autonomous car, a grim milestone and a constant reminder to practice safe driving.

The accident happened outside Williston, Florida after the victim, Ohio resident Joshua Brown, crashed into a semi-truck. The victim was driving his Tesla Model S on semi-autonomous Autopilot when he crashed into the semi-truck coming from the opposite direction and died on the spot.

Reports say that in an attempt to avoid the incoming collision with the Model S, the -truck made a left turn but the sensors on the Model S were not able to recognize the tall edge of the truck. Tesla admitted that the sensors were blinded by the lighting in the area and thus was not able to detect the edge of the truck. Brown failed to step on the brakes and so the car went on to drive underneath the trailer, ripped off its top end, continued rolling, and eventually smashed through two fences. It hit a power post first before rotating counter clockwise and eventually coming to a stop. It really was a freak accident that looks like it came out of a Final Destination movie.

This is not the first time that the sensors on the Model S didn’t work. They have already malfunctioned in an auto-parking accident in May which fortunately happened only at low speeds with no one inside the car. This recent accident ended in a tragedy because human life and significant speeds were involved.

Apparently, in a recent discovery following the accident, it has been found out that the tragedy might have also been due to human error. In a statement released by Frank Baressi, the truck driver, he reportedly heard “Harry Potter” playing in the car that Brown was driving. He says that he couldn’t actually see the movie being played but his statement may be backed up after authorities from the Florida Highway Patrol who recovered a portable DVD player on the wreckage.

It is too early to rule that the accident might have happened due to driver negligence but it should also be noted that watching a movie while driving (even a semi-autonomous car) may lead to accidents such as this. It is an unfortunate event but everyone must learn from this – drivers and automakers alike.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason why we should not rely heavily on the technologies installed in our vehicles, especially the autopilot systems. It is still within the driver’s discretion to practice safe driving and to be at all times focused on the road to ensure safety for all of the passengers (and drivers).

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

Infiniti has commenced sales of the new 2018 Infiniti QX80 full-size luxury sports utility vehicle. Aside from the standard specs and optional features, potential customers would want to know how...
by - December 15, 2017
If there is one thing that Pagani Automobili and Fiat have in common, it is the fact that they are Italian companies that build and assemble vehicles. There is currently...
by - December 15, 2017
It’s Star Wars fever once again, and the second installation of the trilogy sequel -- “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” -- is finally hitting theaters. Avid fans of the franchise...
by - December 15, 2017
Audi Sport is known for creating high performance versions of some Audi vehicles, with a focus on higher levels of sportiness. So far, its high-performance creations are all powered by...
by - December 14, 2017
As soon as Toyota trademarked the names “LC F” and “Lexus LC F” at the European Union Intellectual Property Office, speculations have emerged that there could actually be a hardcore...
by - December 14, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries