On May 7, 2016 a man named Josh Brown became the first to lose his life as a result of an AutoPilot error. Josh, a 40 year old owner of his own technology company in Ohio was blown away by the new technology and even post YouTube videos showing off the automated system. Unfortunately for Josh when he was driving through Florida and a Semi turned left in front of him the AutoPilot system failed to distinguish the white side of the tractor-trailer from the sky and did not brake, nor did Josh as it is reported he may have been watching Harry Potter. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk stated the Model S has radar sensors capable of detecting the trailer, but the radar “tunes out what looks like an overhead road sign to avoid false braking events.” To the right you can see a video of someone using the new technology.
This sad death comes as disappointing news as AutoPilot systems are about to be incorporated into more and more vehicles. The idea behind the AutoPilot system is that it will eliminate human errors, which account for 94% of traffic fatalities, but clearly there are still bugs to be worked out in the system so that human errors aren’t simply replaced by computer errors in causing traffic fatalities.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is set to release its safety guidelines for self-driving cars in the near future, but has already stated car companies need to do extensive testing beforehand to ensure their customers aren’t being made into involuntary guinea pigs.
One lesson that should be taken from this is even when these self-driving cars are released on a wide scale and become more common the individuals behind the wheel still need to be aware of their surrounding in case the computer does malfunction in some way.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident contact an Experienced Indianapolis Car Accident Attorney immediately. Injuries resulting from car accidents require quick and experienced legal and investigative response to preserve any evidence and help present your case in the best light possible. Our Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyers are experienced at helping those injured receive the financial compensation they need after their injuries. Contact the Attorneys at the Indianapolis Law Office of William “Bill” Hurst or call us toll free at (800) 636-0808 for a free consultation. ¡Hablamos Español!
UPDATE: The family of Josh Brown has now hired an attorney. For more info click here.