Safety of Tesla Autopilot under scrutiny again, this time in China

The father of a man killed in a Tesla Model S accident has sued the car seller

Tesla Motors is once again facing controversy over the safety of its Autopilot technology for assisting car drivers, this time in connection with the death of the driver in a Model S crash in China.

The father of the deceased filed a lawsuit in a Beijing court in July against the car dealer who sold him the car, alleging that his son had turned on the Autopilot feature before he crashed into a vehicle in January in the northeastern province of Hebei, according to reports citing Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

Tesla has said it is unable to determine whether or not Autopilot was engaged at the time of the crash. As a result of the damage caused by the collision, the car was physically incapable of transmitting log data to Tesla servers, wrote spokeswoman Keely Sulprizio late Wednesday.

“We have tried repeatedly to work with our customer to investigate the cause of the crash, but he has not provided us with any additional information that would allow us to do so,” Sulprizio added in an email.

Tesla ran into controversy about the safety of Autopilot in June, when it reported a fatality in Florida in a car accident in which the driver was killed after the vehicle went under a high trailer, with the bottom of the trailer impacting the windshield of the Model S car. Autopilot had been activated at the time. The incident is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Consumer Reports, a product-testing and rating nonprofit, called on Tesla at the time to disable hands-free operation in its cars until the technology can be made safer.

The company said last week that it was upgrading Autopilot to make it safer by having radar as a primary control sensor without requiring confirmation by the camera for visual image recognition. Added to Tesla vehicles in October 2014 as part of the Autopilot hardware suite, radar was then meant to be a supplementary sensor to the primary camera and image processing system. The company claimed to have overcome the problems presented by radar, such as false alarms leading to the slamming of brakes even when the obstacle is an innocuous object like a soda can.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags automotive ITAutomotiveTesla

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Bitdefender solutions stop attacks before they even begin! Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?