Tesla Crash to be Investigated

Reports of a Tesla crashing, catching fire and killing the two occupants in Texas have again raised issues about the perception and the reality of automated vehicle functions.


It’s reported that the car was traveling at speed and that no-one was sitting in the driver’s seat but Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, claimed that the car was not in autopilot mode.


Full investigations are on-going but discussion about autonomous driving should at least consider that:

  • Tesla has been strongly criticised for calling its system “autopilot” for although they may say and its documents note that drivers must keep their hands on the wheel, quite a few people think that this is unnecessary. Consequently, critics say, at best, it should be called “semi-autopilot”.
  • The car crashed in a rural setting where line marking is limited or non-existent.

There can be a huge danger if perception exceeds reality.

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About David Brown 566 Articles
David’s boyhood passion for motor cars did not immediately lead to a professional role in the motor industry. A qualified Civil Engineer he specialised in traffic engineering and transport planning. What followed were various positions including being seconded to a government think-tank for the planning of transport firstly in Sydney and then for the whole of NSW. After working with the NRMA and as a consultant he moved to being an independent writer and commentator on the broader areas of transport and the more specific areas of the cars we drive. His half hour motoring program “Overdrive” has been described as an “informed, humorous and irreverent look at motoring and transport from Australia and overseas”. It is heard on 22 stations across Australia. He does weekly interviews with several ABC radio stations and is also heard on commercial radio in Sydney. David has written for metropolitan and regional newspapers and has presented regular segments on metropolitan and regional television stations. David is also a contributor for AnyAuto