Joshua Brown aged 40 from Ohio died in May 2016 in the first fatal Tesla accident. After more than a year since this unfortunate incident, the National Transportation Safety Board made public an in-depth report of 500 pages about it. Even though the investigation is still ongoing, this document reveals precious details about what really happened that day.
Tesla Model S is a Level 2 Autonomous Car
Even though Tesla company prides itself over owning one of the first autopilot systems on the market, the truth is not all in the title of this technology. It is important to understand that there are five levels of autonomous vehicles. The first one requires driver’s assistance all the time while the last one was not even developed yet but it entails no aid at all from a human part. Tesla S model is somewhere between level two and three.
This means that the car needs a person in the driving seat all the time. However, he or she doesn’t necessarily have to have their hands on the steering wheel. Nonetheless, the car system will notify them to take control of the vehicle whenever it is required. Therefore, they should be alert for the entire time of the trip. These details are crucial for the case of the first fatal Tesla accident.
The Company Took Measures to Avoid Repetition of First Fatal Tesla Accident
According to the NTSB report, the driver in the May 2016 crash, Joshua Brown, traveled 37 minutes out of a total of 41 minutes with the autopilot on. However, the board computer notified times the driver for seven that he needs to take control of the vehicle. These warnings were visual texts and auditive alerts as well. However, the passenger ignored all these notifications.
Since the accident, Tesla made some changes to its Autopilot system in order to avert any similar accidents in the future. Therefore, Tesla cars will not leave unanswered notifications without any solutions. If drivers ignore alerts, the Autopilot system will automatically turn off.
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