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Fatal accident with autopilot engaged

Fatal accident with autopilot engaged

Red70D.Martinez.CA | 30 June, 2016

Also on Tesla Blog - Very sad indeed.

Anthony J. Parisio | 30 June, 2016

Very sorry for their family.

KP in NPT | 30 June, 2016

I was just reading the blog after seeing the tweet. Very sad.

NKYTA | 30 June, 2016

Too sad. :-(

SbMD | 30 June, 2016

Very sad indeed.

carlk | 30 June, 2016

That is indeed very sad. I hope it's not someone we know here.

cory | 30 June, 2016

RIP AutoPilot

inconel | 30 June, 2016

RIP
My thoughts and prayers to the family.

KP in NPT | 30 June, 2016

A few more details, including location and name of driver.

http://www.theverge.com/2016/6/30/12072408/tesla-autopilot-car-crash-dea...

Ankit Mishra | 30 June, 2016

Rest in peace.

frankie.fingers | 30 June, 2016

RIP. Very sad.

Ross1 | 30 June, 2016

The Verge article from mp1156 has the video we have all seen of a truck cutting in on a Tesla with AP.
It was filmed by Joshua Brown, 40, from Ohio. The deceased, sadly.
He posted it to youtube. Possibly on one of the forums???

mdmgso | 30 June, 2016

My thoughts and prayers for the family as well.
Two thoughts. How does a tractor trailer get perpendicular across the road and the driver doesn't see it.
That said, Tesla needs to change its hardware to deal with higher masses like tractors and trailers.

mdmgso | 30 June, 2016

My thoughts and prayers for the family as well.
Two thoughts. How does a tractor trailer get perpendicular across the road and the driver doesn't see it.
That said, Tesla needs to change its hardware to deal with higher masses like tractors and trailers.

KP in NPT | 30 June, 2016

OMG @ Ross. I didn't see that until you posted it. I just got chills.

rxlawdude | 30 June, 2016

Very sad indeed. But had there been no autopilot, would the result have been different, given the very specific circumstances of the accident?

KP in NPT | 30 June, 2016

mdmgso - another article I found said that the truck was turning at a light. We have divided highways with lights in my area - the question is: did the truck driver cut off the Model S, or run a light? Or did the MS run a light? Did the sun play a factor for the driver like the blog stated? We don't have the details yet.

mjwellman | 30 June, 2016

Very sad. @mdmgso-The truck was turning so it was perpendicular to the road that the MS was driving on at the time of impact. I agree that it may not have made a difference if AP was not on but it does demonstrate why you need to be vigilant when using AP

Red70D.Martinez.CA | 30 June, 2016
Red70D.Martinez.CA | 30 June, 2016

@RXLAwDue - I have a feeling w/o AP, the same would have happened. Did something happen to Mr. Brown that he didn't apply the brakes? Sad that someone we most likely know (under a screen name) was involved in this tragedy. Good thoughts and condolences to the family

Run4Waffles | 30 June, 2016

This is very sad. Our hearts and prayers are with the family.

Mike83 | 30 June, 2016

Weird and unusual accident. Very sad to see this guy go. He had some good YouTube videos. Near us there have been two trailer accidents; one family of 5 burned to death and the father couldn't get them out and a bicyclist got hit by a rig and died. I also believe truck driving is as deadly as logging(1 in 100 have accidents). Be safe and alert out there.

Mozap | 30 June, 2016

This is very sad. Drive safely EVERYBODY!

georgehawley.fl.us | 30 June, 2016

This is the unhappy confluence of bad driving by the truck driver and the imperfection of the Tesla driver's response as well as the Autopilot response to the sudden appearance of the truck. Very sad indeed. My best wishes go out to the family.

One lesson to take from this is that the optimistic pronouncements about the imminence of autonomous driving are reckless at best. This is an example of one of the millions of "corner cases"
that must be accounted for.

barb@duke | 30 June, 2016

Just highlighted on national news..but few details

flyfr8 | 30 June, 2016

Very sad RIP
yes drive safely everyone...

AmpedRealtor | 30 June, 2016

Tesla was totally irresponsible releasing Autopilot as "beta" software. With every software release, the performance, accuracy, and dependability of the system changes and not always for the better. I am not the only one here who was on the record a year ago questioning Tesla's decision to use its owners as Autopilot guinea pigs. I also said a year ago that one day when there is an Autopilot-caused death, Tesla's disclaimers and "beta" status will mean little to the NHTSA. Indeed, you can already read in Tesla's blog post an attempt to set up its defense behind disclaimers and beta opt-in language. Good luck with that, Elon.

I'm not cutting Tesla any slack here because this is too serious an issue to make excuses. I'm already reading elsewhere that because the driver didn't see the semi, Autopilot shouldn't be expected to see it either. I have a newsflash for those people - the reason we have advanced safety features in our cars is exactly so that they can see things we don't, or act before we can. To say that it's okay because the driver didn't see it or react, as some confluence of magical circumstances, is laughable. To say, as Tesla suggests, that the forward facing radar could not see the semi because of its higher ride height is an admission of a design flaw. It should detect all vehicles and objects in front of the car, not just cars of a certain ride height.

I can't wait to see how far Tesla's long list of disclaimers gets them with NHTSA, and why they believe that someone opting-in to accept beta software with a long list of disclaimers means that person deserves to lose his or her life at the hands of the software that Tesla designed to keep us safe. Sorry, not buying it.

Trip Planner is still in beta as is Autopilot. Navigation system sucks compared to systems from 10 years ago. Tesla can't seem to get its software house in order, rolls out a beta of software that can kill you, and is now buying Solar City for $3B when it should be focusing on actually finishing something and doing it right. Three years after the Model S rolled off the line we are still reading about cars leaking, drive units failing, miserable delivery experiences, lack of quality control, etc. But why bother with any of that when the "next new thing" is just around the corner to distract everyone.

tranhv68 | 30 June, 2016

This accident reminds of the claim by another Tesla Model S owner that his car drove itself into a trailer. That accident involved the end of the trailer hitting the windshield of the car and the front of the car going under the trailer.

http://electrek.co/2016/05/11/tesla-model-s-crashed-own-summon/

After reading the Tesla Blog, I'm convinced that the radar system and visual camera system is poorly adapted to seeing obstacles above the level of the base of the windshield.

As an owner of 3 teslas, 2 with autopilot, I am very pleased with the performance of Autopilot. However, I think these two incidents need to be examined by Tesla and either a software fix or hardware fix needs to be implemented before NHTSA comes to the same conclusion.

In the meantime, we all need to be alert when autopilot is engaged.

Mike83 | 30 June, 2016

Even so autopilot still has much fewer accidents than non autopilot driving; looking at the numbers. The right circumstances can create an unusual event. You don't use autopilot unless you accept and drive it properly.
Here comes the usual suspects.

carlk | 30 June, 2016

@AmpedRealtor

Give me a break. Using that logic logic you can say all car companies are irresponsible when they know cars they sell are not perfectly safe. Or airlines are irresponsible when they can't guarantee crash will never happen. Customers know and take the (small) risk when they made the purchase and used the product.

Mireille and Conan | 30 June, 2016

This is so sad. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

lafgoddess | 30 June, 2016

It would probably be helpful if they could get any footage from his dashcam.

rg22.vanhorn | 30 June, 2016

@AmpedRealtor. the DRIVER/ PILOT is ALWAYS ultimately responsible. It's YOUR CHOICE to use or not to use Autopilot. Stick with your Model T friend...

SUN 2 DRV | 30 June, 2016

This unfortunate accident is not that much different than if the car was on basic cruise control and ran into that truck.

Who do you think is responsible if the car would have been on Cruise? AP use has exactly the responsibility allocations.

Bighorn | 30 June, 2016

Sincere condolences to his family and friends. Clearly, a true patriot who loved his car and appreciated the direction Tesla was leading his country and the world. Very sad accident after his recent near miss.

Red70D.Martinez.CA | 30 June, 2016

I hope the DashCam wasn't demolished and can help she some light on timing. Was there enough time for Mr Brown to even react?

vpoz | 30 June, 2016

Very sad, unfortunately a significant factor would appear to be the lack of under-riding bars on the sides and back of the truck trailer, as are a mandatory standard in Europe, precisely to stop cars going into the space under the trailer.
The bars extend down to the level of an average cars bumper/wheel hub centre height, so making certain that the cars front crumple zone takes the force of the impact hitting the bar while the airbags deploy to protect the passengers and not the cars upper passenger compartment glass/A pillar hitting the trailer floor/deck with the floor then potentially entering the passenger compartment just above the level of the steering wheel.
If my interpretation is correct the NHTSA should examine a recall on all trucks and trailers without side and rear protection bars.

hcwhy | 30 June, 2016

Good point, vpoz

rg22.vanhorn | 30 June, 2016

Yes, Mr Joshua Brown was certainly a pioneer with respect to choosing to own and use the totally new "driver assistance" features of the revolutionary Tesla motor cars. Pioneers deserve special credit. Pioneers face more risk than mere "stay at home" people. My condolences to the family and friends of Mr Brown.

Elijah.Kerry | 30 June, 2016

I'm truly sad to hear this news. I didn't know Joshua personally, but it feels like we lost a member of our close-knit Tesla community.

AmpedRealtor | 30 June, 2016

@carlk | June 30, 2016

"Give me a break. Using that logic logic you can say all car companies are irresponsible when they know cars they sell are not perfectly safe. Or airlines are irresponsible when they can't guarantee crash will never happen. Customers know and take the (small) risk when they made the purchase and used the product."

I'll play... Can you name another vehicle manufacturer who released, as beta, a similar feature to Autopilot which has the potential to cause harm? Can you name another vehicle manufacturer whose safety systems intentionally ignore stationary objects like walls, other cars, or a semi truck?

Bighorn | 30 June, 2016

Looking at the intersection on google maps, it is one of many uncontrolled crossings in the area. The fault lies entirely with the truck driver and chargers will likely be filed.

vpoz | 30 June, 2016

Us trailer
http://pacifictruckandtrailer.com/logo/trailers-300.jpg

European trailer
http://i.autotrader.co.uk/merlin-image-server/view/0e3dc01e-ca05-49b4-84...

Front part of under trailer space filled by towing truck wheels. Car however driven can't get under the trailer even if the trailer pulls right across the road in front of the car with or without warning.

TPilot | 30 June, 2016

AmpedRealtor what planet are you on. If AP actually caused the accident I could see your point but you should wait until all facts are out before you start spewing that bs. Right now it looks like AP could not have prevented it and didn't cause it.

Carlose175 | 30 June, 2016

@AmpedRealtor

No no no no no.

Are you seriously blaming Autopilot for this crash?

Autopilot is there as an assistant but it should not the the end all be all of safety. Even if the program was not in Beta, that is extremely ignorant to say that "Autopilot is to blame" Are we now gonna start blaming airbags or crumble zones for not keeping you alive if a drunk driver hit you? Obviously not, it would be the drunk driver's fault.
Autopilot is just an extension of those safety features, Autopilot has already helped by dramatically reducing car accidents on the road. This is the first fatal accident with Autopilot in 122 Million miles. The average fatal crash happens in 86 Million miles.

The numbers already show that Autopilot is a success.

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | 30 June, 2016

You know @Amped, you do yourself a serious disservice making unsupported and clearly flawed statements when you are attempting to make a case.

"Tesla was totally irresponsible releasing Autopilot as "beta" software. "
Where is your accident data to show this s true?
Where is your risk benefit analysis showing it is not safe to use?
So how is Autopilot working for you?

"Tesla's disclaimers and "beta" status will mean little to the NHTSA."
Where is your legal opinion that suggest this is true?

"Three years after the Model S rolled off the line we are still reading about cars leaking, drive units failing, miserable delivery experiences, lack of quality control, etc."
Where is your data that suggests Tesla is worse than other Auto manufacturers?

Not that I Haven't worried myself about many of your points especially the Solar City proposal, but on balance there is no better car in the world to drive and I am totally confident in the design of the car especially the crash survival potential.

Since I have not seen any police report or independent assessment of the circumstances I will not make any decisions about the use or safety of Autopilot.

You run a significant risk of looking like a fool at this stage.

mscott | 30 June, 2016

The link @Red70D.Martinez.CA quotes the "Police Beat" as saying "Charges are pending." From that, one would reasonably assume "...against the driver of the truck." Given that this happened almost two months ago, I would hope those changes have actually been filed by now.

KP in NPT | 30 June, 2016

It's irresponsible to assign blame to either side until all the facts are in.

In the meantime if you think Tesla is irresponsible for releasing AP in Beta - don't use it.

Carlose175 | 30 June, 2016

@AmpedRealtor

One last point. If Autopilot was truly to blame, would he be alive if it was disabled?

No of course not, he could be driving a Corolla and he would of still been on this accident.

That's how a blame works.

Carlose175 | 30 June, 2016

@AmpedRealtor

One last point. If Autopilot was truly to blame, would he be alive if it was disabled?

No of course not, he could be driving a Corolla and he would of still been on this accident.

That's how a blame works.

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