Driver in Fatal Tesla Crash was Speeding Even though on Autopilot: NHTSA

2013-Tesla-Model-S-Rear

The National Transportation Security Board didn’t assign any blame in its initial report into the fatal May possibly 7 crash of a Tesla Model S, but did confirm new particulars.

The agency claims Joshua Brown’s vehicle was in Autopilot mode at the time of the crash, and was travelling above the 65 mile per hour speed limit ahead of colliding with a tractor-trailer, according to Reuters.

Both the NTSB and National Highway Targeted traffic Security Administration are investigating the crash, billed as the first fatality involving a self-driving car. Significantly of the investigation’s focus is on what function the semi-autonomous Autopilot technique had on the crash.

According to the NTSB’s findings, the Traffic-Conscious Cruise Control and Autosteer lane-maintaining program on Brown’s vehicle have been activated at the time of the crash. Tesla admitted that the vehicle’s Autopilot didn’t recognize the truck as it crossed the highway in front of Brown. The vibrant sunlight reflecting off the side of the trailer confused the program.

Besides that, the preliminary report located that Brown’s vehicle was going 74 miles per hour. Even though it is above the speed limit on that highway, numerous drivers set their cruise handle to nine miles per hour more than the limit to make time and avoid speeding tickets.

An NTSB official said speeding could have contributed to the crash, but is not the result in. A full report is due a year from now.

The collision sheared off the best of Brown’s Tesla, which traveled 297 feet following exiting from underneath the trailer. The Model S then hit a power pole, snapping it, ahead of coming to rest 50 feet away. Truck driver Frank Baressi claimed he heard the film Harry Potter playing in the wreckage, but police stated the portable DVD player and laptop located in the car weren’t running soon after the crash.

Baressi hasn’t been charged by Florida police.

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Tesla Faces Backlash Over Autopilot Technology in Wake of Crash

Tesla Model S, Image: Tesla Motors

Safety advocates are claiming Tesla’s reputation as a top innovator in the automotive globe could breed overconfidence in its new technology, placing drivers in danger.

The May possibly 7 death of a Tesla driver whose automobile collided with a tractor trailer even though in “Autopilot” mode sparked renewed calls for proper vetting of sophisticated technologies in production vehicles — particularly if the technologies permits the car to drive itself.

Joshua Brown was killed on a Florida highway after his 2015 Tesla Model S’s Autopilot mistook a brightly-lit tractor trailer crossing the highway as the sky. The autonomous driving system didn’t react to the obstacle, leading to a fatal collision. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now investigating the Model S and its Autopilot method.

Following the crash, the truck’s driver, Frank Baressi, claimed the victim was watching a film at the time of the crash, saying he could hear the film Harry Potter playing from the Tesla’s wreckage.

Tesla automobiles cannot play videos on their infotainment screens, but Reuters now reports that the Florida Highway Patrol located a portable, aftermarket DVD player in the wreckage of Brown’s automobile. Brown was a great fan of Tesla and its Autopilot technology, uploading many dashcam videos to his YouTube page, including one particular displaying the system avoiding a collision with a truck earlier this year.

Police said no video recording device — mounted to the dash or elsewhere — was discovered in the wreckage.

Tesla markets the Autopilot program as a driver’s help, preserving that drivers nonetheless need to have to be conscious of their surroundings and prepared to respond to danger although the program is activated. The mere presence of the technologies, nonetheless, could lead to overconfidence in its abilities.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Jackie Gillan, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, criticized the practice of “beta” testing — getting shoppers test and help increase new technology by way of genuine-globe use.

“Allowing automakers to do their personal testing, with no distinct guidelines, indicates consumers are going to be the guinea pigs in this experiment,” stated Gillan. “This is going to take place once more and once more and once more.”

Joan Claybrook, automotive safety advocate and former NHTSA director, said the “trial-and-error technique” is a threat to public security.

“The history of the auto market is they test and test and test,” she told Bloomberg. “This is a life-and-death issue.”

Anticipate the Florida crash to make other automakers further cautious about perfecting their own autonomous driving technology (or semi-autonomous driving aids) ahead of generating it offered in production cars. In March, NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind gave the regulator a six month timeline in which to develop federal rules for self-driving vehicles.

[Image: Tesla Motors]

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NHTSA Investigating Tesla Model S Following Fatal ‘Autopilot’ Crash

tesla-model-s-

A current fatal crash of a 2015 Tesla Model S operating in “Autopilot” mode prompted the National Highway Site visitors Safety Administration to open a preliminary investigation into the model, Reuters is reporting.

Because the crash occurred when the vehicle was beneath the control of an autonomous driving system, the NHTSA mentioned it is planning “an examination of the style and overall performance of any driving aids in use at the time of the crash.”

A preliminary investigation is the first step the agency can take if it believes a vehicle is unsafe and might require to be recalled. The probe involves a total of 25,000 Tesla Model S autos.

Tesla responded to the news on its web site with a post titled “A Tragic Loss”:

This is the very first recognized fatality in just over 130 million miles where Autopilot was activated. Among all cars in the US, there is a fatality every single 94 million miles. Worldwide, there is a fatality roughly every 60 million miles. It is important to emphasize that the NHTSA action is just a preliminary evaluation to determine whether the technique worked according to expectations.

Following our regular practice, Tesla informed NHTSA about the incident immediately right after it occurred. What we know is that the vehicle was on a divided highway with Autopilot engaged when a tractor trailer drove across the highway perpendicular to the Model S. Neither Autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied. The higher ride height of the trailer combined with its positioning across the road and the really uncommon circumstances of the effect triggered the Model S to pass beneath the trailer, with the bottom of the trailer impacting the windshield of the Model S. Had the Model S impacted the front or rear of the trailer, even at high speed, its sophisticated crash safety method would likely have prevented serious injury as it has in quite a few other equivalent incidents.

Tesla went on to clarify that drivers are presented with a message explaining how to use Autopilot safety when they engage the function:

When drivers activate Autopilot, the acknowledgment box explains, amongst other things, that Autopilot “is an assist feature that demands you to maintain your hands on the steering wheel at all times,” and that “you need to preserve manage and responsibility for your vehicle” whilst utilizing it.

CNN is reporting that the crash happened Might 7 in Williston, Florida. Tesla’s stock sank in soon after-hours trading when news of the investigation broke.

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Fiat Chrysler Will Investigate Anton Yelchin’s Fatal Jeep Crash

2015 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Overland

Much less than two days after Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin died in a bizarre vehicle crash in his Los Angeles driveway, the maker of his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee says it will investigate the incident.

Yelchin, 27, was discovered crushed amongst his SUV and a brick gatepost two nights ago. The automobile, which was identified in neutral with the engine nonetheless running, apparently rolled backwards down the steep driveway and hit him.

Police reports identified his Grand Cherokee as 1 of the models recalled due to its confusing Monostable shift lever, with Reuters now reporting that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles promises to conduct a “thorough investigation.”

The Monostable shift level was employed in three models equipped with FCA’s eight-speed automatic transmission. In April, FCA voluntarily recalled 1.1 million automobiles to appropriate the concern, which triggered some drivers to feel their automobile was in “park” when it was in fact still in gear, or neutral.

As opposed to traditional automatic transmission shift levers, the Monostable shift knob returns to the same central spot right after gear adjustments. This provides little visual indication of what gear the car is in fact in.

In response to inquiries swirling about the circumstances that led to Yelchin’s death, the automaker issued a statement saying, “It is premature to speculate on its result in at this time.”

When the National Highway Transportation Security Administration investigated owner complaints last summer time, it logged 41 injuries connected to vehicles rolling away from their owners, but no deaths. At least 700 roll-away incidents are linked to the shifters. Models impacted are certain 2012-2014 Dodge Chargers and Chrysler 300s, and 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees.

It is not known regardless of whether Yelchin’s automobile was serviced after the recall was issued.

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Dodge Challenger Nets Worst Score in Muscle Car Crash Tests

Challenger crash

If you’re going to hit a pole in a Dodge Challenger, it is far better to nail that sucker head-on or it miss altogether.

That is the takeaway from a series of crash tests performed by the Insurance coverage Institute for Highway Safety, exactly where Dodge’s muscle coupe scored itself a “marginal” rating in the tiny front overlap test.

The IIHS typically does not test niche vehicles, but V8-powered Challenger, Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro models are hot-promoting products and purchasers demanded it.

All three vehicles fared differently in the dreaded front modest overlap test, exactly where only 25 % of the automobile strikes a rigid barrier at 40 miles per hour. Added in 2012, the test has sunk the ratings of otherwise safe automobiles.

The Camaro walked away with a “good” rating in that test, even though the Mustang scored an “acceptable” rating due to intrusion into the driver’s space. The Challenger sports the oldest architecture of the 3, and that straw property was blown down by the test.

The outcome? Anticipate grievous decrease leg injuries.

“During the crash, the Challenger’s front wheel was forced rearward into the occupant compartment, and the footwell intrusion trapped the dummy’s left foot and deformed its ankle,” IIHS president Adrian Lund said in a statement.

“Our technicians had to unbolt the dummy’s foot from its leg in order to free it. Entrapment is fairly uncommon. That’s only occurred five other instances in a tiny overlap test.”

The little overlap fail earned the Challenger a “marginal” rating, the second-lowest grade a automobile can get.

Despite its so-so functionality on that test, the Mustang scored best marks for moderate overlap, side impact, roof strength, as nicely as for head restraints and seats. The Camaro’s only weakness was in roof strength (which seems weird — there’s barely any window on the thing), where it earned an “acceptable” rating.

The Challenger got best marks for moderate overlap and side impacts, but roof strength and restraints have been demoted to “acceptable.”

Like numerous before it, 1 of the testers was held back a grade thanks to its small overlap marks.

“The Mustang is just 1 great rating away from earning Top Safety Choose,” Lund said “Its tiny overlap rating holds it back.”

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Porsche Not to Blame for Paul Walker Crash, Judge Guidelines

Image courtesy Autoblog

A federal judge has ruled against a lawsuit that claimed the Porsche Carrera GT driven by actor Paul Walker and Roger Rodas was to blame for their fatal crash.

The suit, filed by Kristine Rodas (widow of the driver), claimed that the Porsche lacked crucial security functions that contributed to the death of each men, but no proof could be located to support this.

U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez also ruled that there was no proof that the car’s rear suspension failed prior to the crash, which occurred in a California organization park in November 2013.

Walker, who rose to fame in the Rapidly and the Furious movie franchise, was a passenger in the car.

The Porsche collided with a tree and light pole, killing the occupants almost instantaneously, ahead of becoming consumed by a post-crash fire.

“Plaintiff has supplied no competent evidence that Rodas’ death occurred as a result of any wrongdoing on the part of defendant,” Gutierrez wrote of the case.

A police investigation (which Porsche engineers assisted in) located that speed, not mechanical faults, led to the crash. According to their findings, the Porsche was travelling at 94 miles per hour when it spun out and crashed.

Porsche, which has denied any wrongdoing related to the crash, is still facing two lawsuits filed by Walker’s daughter, Meadow, as effectively as his father.

[Supply: Linked Press] [Image: Autoblog]


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