TechTalk Tesla

Published on November 4th, 2018 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Another Tesla Has Crashed While In Autopilot

Another Tesla owner whose car crashed while Autopilot was engaged has sued the automaker claiming false advertising. In September, a woman whose Tesla crashed into the back of a stationary fire truck at speed while driving on Autopilot in Utah, America sued the automaker with similar claims.

On Tuesday this week, Florida resident Shawn Hudson sued Tesla after his Tesla Model S crashed into the back of a Ford Fiesta that had been left in the middle of a traffic lane on the Florida Turnpike.

“Through a pervasive national marketing campaign and a purposefully manipulative sales pitch, Tesla has duped consumers … into believing that the Autopilot system it offers with Tesla vehicles at additional cost transport passengers at highway speeds with minimal input and oversight,” the lawsuit claims.

Hudson reportedly bought the Model S because it has Autopilot, which he planned to use on his two-hour daily commute to work at a car dealership.

When he visited a Tesla store to learn about the system, “Tesla’s sales representative reassured Hudson that all he needed to do as the driver of the vehicle is to occasionally place his hand on the steering wheel and that the vehicle would ‘do everything else,'” the lawsuit claims.

That claim is similar to the one that Utah owner Heather Lommatzsch made in her September suit against the company. After that suit was announced, her attorney, Jeffery Metler, told ABC News, “They put out a message that’s not consistent. That leaves the public relying on the safety of the cars but I don’t think the technology is to the point that people can safely rely on it.”

Both suits point out a banner headline on the Autopilot page of Tesla’s website proclaiming; “Full Self-Driving Hardware on All Cars,” followed by the explanation, “All Tesla vehicles produced in our factory … have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver.” It also features a video of a driver sitting with his hands in his lap while the car is driving.

Independent data has been unable to confirm whether Autopilot is any safer than human drivers.

Experts say such systems are not designed to react to stationary objects at high speed, which has resulted in at least three of the accidents involving Autopilot.

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