By: Danny King
A driver of a Tesla Model S in California is blaming the electric vehicle's Autopilot feature and its failure to properly engage the car's braking system for a crash on Interstate 5. According to Ars Technica, Tesla driver Arianna Simpson says her April 26 accident was the result of Tesla's Autopilot feature not properly engaging its collision-avoidance feature. As a result, she applied the brakes too late and rear-ended the vehicle in front of her at about 40 miles per hour. No one was hurt in the accident.
Autopilot "does not turn a Tesla into an autonomous vehicle and does not allow the driver to abdicate responsibility."
Tesla says that, just prior to the accident, Simpson disengaged Autopilot's emergency-braking system by hitting the brakes and taking control of the steering wheel. "Since the release of Autopilot, we've continuously educated customers on the use of the feature, reminding them that they're responsible for remaining alert and present when using Autopilot and must be prepared to take control at all times," the company added in a statement to Autoblog. "Autopilot is by far the most advanced such system on the road, but it does not turn a Tesla into an autonomous vehicle and does not allow the driver to abdicate responsibility."
The incident follows up a case in Utah where driver Jared Overton said his Model S, which didn't have a driver inside at the time, rolled into a parked trailer. He told The Verge that the Model S, which is equipped with the Summon feature that allows the car to pull itself out of or into a parking space, "went rogue." As with the Utah incident, Tesla says the California accident was caused by driver error.