A Tesla on autopilot has crashed in Arizona recently, re-sparking fears that self-driving will not be a safe driving option for a long time. The autonomous vehicle struck two vehicles, a highway patrol SUV and an ambulance. To complicate the situation further, the driver, a 23-year-old man, might have been drunk at the time of the crash.
There have been no reported injuries from anyone in the ambulance. The police vehicle was reportedly empty when the self-driving Tesla crashed into it at a high speed. The driver of the Tesla, though, was hospitalized with serious injuries.
No New Words of Encouragement from Tesla
At this time, Tesla has not provided a full statement regarding the Arizona self-driving accident. It has also not indicated that it would accept any liability for the collision. Historically, car accidents involving self-driving Tesla cars have been difficult to investigate because it is usually unclear if a programming glitch or a driver’s mistake caused the autonomous vehicle to crash.
In the past, Tesla has said that the autopilot feature of their vehicles is safe if “the driver remains attentive and ready to take control.” The vagueness of the statement and the company’s general attitude about autonomous driving has left many safety groups nervous about the true safety of the feature and where it could lead in the future.
A History of Autonomous Driving Dangers
The recent self-driving crash in Arizona is in no way the first of its kind. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the federal U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has investigated at least a dozen car accidents believed to have been caused by an issue with a vehicle’s self-driving feature. Two of those investigations involve fatal accidents in Florida, one dating back to 2016.
Four years later in 2020, autonomous Tesla vehicles are still being investigated and scrutinized. While the automaker has repeatedly assured the public and safety agencies that they are constantly refining and upgrading the safety of their vehicles, the amount of crashes keeps some skeptical. There also remains the persistent issue of marketing materials leading drivers to believe that an autonomous vehicle is truly “self-driving,” which could encourage inattentive or distracted driving behaviors.
For more information about the July Tesla self-driving crash in Arizona, you can click here to read a full article from The Mercury News. To get help with a self-driving accident claim in Phoenix, you can count on Rafi Law Group. Call (623) 207-1555 to speak with our attorneys about your case today.