An Ohio man died while using the “Autopilot” feature on his Tesla electric car. Joshua Brown of Canton, Ohio, died from injuries he sustained when a tractor-trailer made a left turn in front of his 2015 Tesla on a highway near Williston, Florida. The car’s sensors system failed to distinguish the large 18-wheeler and the car attempted to drive full speed under the trailer. The bottom of the trailer ultimately impacted the windshield of the Model S. The police report said the top of the vehicle “was torn off by the force of the collision.” The truck driver was uninjured. Brown had purchased the vehicle in mid-July of 2015.
The “Autopilot” system is designed to allow Teslas to cruise along highways without drivers having to steer, brake, or accelerate. The car is supposed to stay in its lane and stop suddenly if traffic ahead comes to a halt.
This is the first fatality in the United States involving a car in self-driving mode. America’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an inquiry into the accident and is currently investigating the design and performance of the system aboard the Tesla Model S Sedan.
If you or a loved one is seriously injured or killed by a defective automobile, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 800-594-4884 for a free, confidential consultation.