At this point, it looks like nobody was sitting behind the wheel prior to this horrific crash:
Sounds like they were using the driving assist as auto-pilot even though the system isn’t ready for that yet. That’s tragic.
Nobody caused the crash.
This reminds me of a Cosby (very talented and funny man) story (Can I still say that?).
“The story he focuses on is instantly relatable: two young brothers forced to share a small space, bouncing between scheming together, lying to each other, and outright battle. When Cosby punches his younger brother in the eye, he quickly shifts from antagonist to friend, offering to rub it until it feels better. But when his brother threatens to tell their father, Cosby makes it clear: Russell fell out of the bed. Nobody hit anybody.”
Everything is fun and games, autonomous vehicles are promoted as safe and reliable, until somebody gets hurt or dies and then suddenly Nobody is resposible.
Liability will still fall onto the people in the car since the driving assist system specifically says that it’s not an auto-pilot system and that the driver needs to be ready to take control of the vehicle at any time.
It was meant as a joke (as in the Cosby stand-up bit, cited). Obviously Somebody will be liable after the lawyers and courts are done chewing and digesting everything and evacuate a decision.
Fully autonomous passenger vehicles are NOT ready yet. Not one manufacturer has ever stated they are. Any vehicle with autonomous features clearly states that driver must be ready to take control at all times. Taken directly from below article… “Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability are intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any moment.”
So who’s at fault…The DRIVER…PERIOD.
It was a JOKE, people!
Cosby was a comedian!
An hour before your reply:
Of course somebody is responsible!
Right, I know that, but some folks who buy these things act like they are fully autonomous, buy them to be that way, and don’t stay engaged behind the wheel. It’s not the first time it’s happened and won’t be the last.
Car burned for 4 hrs. Off and on. Was there any body parts left? You seen the pics?
Which ones are you looking for?
Car or people? I’m just curious.
And “No,” I seen no pics.
Officer, I had too much to drink so I’m letting car drive.
In my opinion one of the issues with this function has to do with road markings (or lack thereof). My Cherokee has the lane-assist feature, which is supposed to let you know (through steering wheel feedback) when you’re drifting out of your lane. The way it does this is by detecting the lane definition lines and letting you know when you’re too close to one or the other. However, not all lanes have visible lane markings, or painted lines at the edge of the road, so the function has nothing to detect, so it just turns itself off.
The article references accidents at highway barriers. There were 2 (1 fatal) at the same place on a freeway in California where the left lane split, one continuing straight and one ramping to another freeway. In that case (and those like it) the lane markings on either side of you diverge. The system tries to keep you next to one, then the other, but it can’t decide which to follow so it switches back and forth until you centerpunch the barrier (this information was provided by the driver that survived the crash as he was paying attention and noticed the car going back and forth, so he took control, unfortunately too late to avoid the accident entirely).
The intensity of the fire makes me wonder whether EV are as safe as vehicles with internal combustion engines. Even with vehicles with internal combustion engines, I would guess that electrical fires are more frequent than those caused by fuel leaks. My son’s father-in-law had his house severely damaged by a fire that started in the wiring of his Lincoln Town Car which was parked outside the garage and everything was turned off. The fire jumped from under the hood of the car to the eaves of the attached garage. When I think about the energy stored in an EV battery, I think there is a potential for a problem.
I have friends that won’t have natural gas in their houses. Yet, I would bet that more houses are damaged from electrical fires than gas explosions.
I had a Black and Decker battery powered mower that I bought from a friend. In researching the mower, there were some earlier mowers manufactured before my mower that were recalled because of the problem of an electrical fire while recharging the batteries. My mower wasn’t on the recall, but I was still leary of recharging the batteries in my attached garage.
Lithium-Ion batteries are known to be significant fire hazards. A neighbor had a scooter with a Li-ion battery charging in the garage. A fire started and caused a lot of property damage. It’s all fixed now, but they spent the winter someplace else.
@jtsanders Even a little 9 volt battery is capable of starting a fire. I was replacing smoke detector batteries at my church and felt something hot in my pocket. I had put.a smoke detector battery in my pocket and the terminals shorted against my pocket knife. I can hardly imagine the energy stored in an EV battery.
I know 2 people who own an autonomous vehicle. Before they were allowed to take delivery they were REQUIRED to get training on the operation and safety of the vehicle. Not sure if that was a state law or just a manufacturer requirement.
In 10-20 years when autonomous vehicles are certified then that will probably be very common AND PERFECTLY LEGAL. Some autonomous vehicles won’t even have controls for a human to take control of the vehicle. I actually look forward to that day when we can get the drunks from behind the wheel. Way too many accidents and deaths due to drunk driving.
Jonny cab. Total recall
The biggest problem with lithium-ion batteries is they contain both fuel and an oxidant. Once the fire starts, it cannot be smothered. The only way it can be extinguished is to cool it down with water… LOTS of water… until the fire can no longer sustain itself.
Scary when you consider parking one in your garage to recharge it overnight.
If, as the police have stated, that nobody was sitting in the driver’s seat, it would appear to me that Tesla only has to do a very minor bit of reprogramming their Driver Assist technology in order to make this type of accident impossible.
Isn’t there a weight sensor built into the seat?
If I am correct, then any programmer worth his/her salt should be able to make it impossible to engage the Driver Assist function unless there was an adult-size person sitting in the driver’s seat.
There’s a new problem I hadn’t thought of - this guy’s Tesla 3 slams on the brakes when it sees a stop sign…on a distant billboard:
Billboard Confuses Tesla Autopilot Reminds Why AVs Aren’t Ready (jalopnik.com)