Nearly two years ago, a man in a Tesla Model S was traveling on the US 101 freeway in Mountain View California using autopilot, the vehicle began to drift out of its lane of travel and eventually struck a crash attenuator that was non functional.
His car snapped in half and began to catch fire.
Thankfully he was extracted from the vehicle before it did go up completely, but later died of his injuries in the hospital.
The driver of this car never made an effort to correct its behavior.
Why didn't this man try and correct the vehicles Was drift.
Why did the vehicle begin to drift in the first place?
What other factors contributed to this collision that caused the death of Walter One?
That's what the National Transportation Safety Board has been investigating all this time.
And on Tuesday this week, it released its findings.
those findings are the topic of this week's autocomplete.
Don't get us wrong.
Tesla's autopilot system is a marvel of modern technology.
There's no doubt that it's a highly advanced driver assistance system and when used correctly, it can keep motorists safe while driving.
Unfortunately, as we've seen time and again, whether in crashes on YouTube, in news reports or even in footage of Tesla's own Elon Musk driving with a reporter in the car, expecting people to use it hands on as they're supposed to Seems to be a big ask whether people's behavior is willful disobedience in the face of Tesla's clear guidelines for the use of autopilot or if it's their misplaced faith in a system that has been criticized for having a misleading name.
Name both seem to be the case.
The US government has remained worryingly quiet on the subject until now that is, during the course of its investigation, the NTSB came to some conclusions about autopilot and about driver assistance systems in general.
And it's making some recommendations to industry in an attempt to keep crashes like the one that sparked this investigation.
From happening again.
The report that the NTSB issued offers 23 separate findings pertaining to the model X crash.
They touch on everything from driver distraction, he was gaming on his phone to a lack of driver monitoring and accountability features included in auto pilot.
The steering wheel torque sensor just isn't effective, and even calls out the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NITSA.
For a lack of regulation for NITSA the NTSB recommends that it even Evaluate Tesla autopilot equipped vehicles to determine if the system's operating limitations foreseeability of driver misuse.
And the ability to operate the vehicles outside the intended operational design domain pose an unreasonable risk to safety.
If safety defects are identified, use applicable enforcement authority to ensure that Tesla incorporated takes corrective.
To the society of automotive engineers, it recommends for vehicles equipped with level two automation To work with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop performance standards for seven driver monitoring systems that will minimize driver disengagement, prevent automation complacency, and account for foreseeable misuse of the automation.
And finally to manufacturers of phones and other devices, It suggests, that they develop a distracted driving lockout mechanism or application for portable electronic devices that will automatically disable any driver distracting functions, when a vehicle is in motion, but that allows the device to be used in an emergency It has to install the mechanism as a default setting on all new devices and apply it to existing commercially available devices during major software updates.
Now, of course, these are just recommendations and they're not binding, so It's going to be up to NITSA.
And companies like Tesla to respond whether by implementing the recommendations or by deliberately choosing not to.
We sincerely hope that they make the changes that the NTSB asks for and that makes us all a little safer out on the road.
Thanks for listening to another episode of Auto Complete.
I've been Kyle Hyatt and I appreciate you taking the time to subscribe to the channel and throw us a like if you're enjoying what we do.
Thanks for listening and we'll be back at you again later this week.
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