Tesla sued by family of man killed in Autopilot crash2019-05-01 16:58 by Daniela
Tags: Tesla, Autopilot
The family of the Tesla owner Walter Huang, who died in March last year when his Tesla Model X crashed on a California highway, is suing Tesla. The man was driving his car with the Autopilot feature engaged. Autopilot is a semi-automated system for use during highway driving and although Tesla cautions drivers to be ready to retake control, Huang wasn't the first person killed while using it.
In the complaint, the family claims that Huang's Model X lacked safety features, such as an automatic emergency braking system. Such features are available on much less expensive vehicles from other carmakers as well as on more recent Model Xs, Huang's family said. The Model X does come with automatic emergency braking, according to the owner's manual.
"At all relevant times herein, Defendants were negligent and careless in their design, manufacture, testing, marketing, sale, and maintenance of the 2017 Tesla Model X, and Defendants were negligent and careless in failing and omitting to provide adequate instructions and warnings to protect against injuries occurring as a result of vehicle malfunction and the absence of an effective automatic emergency braking system, as occurred here," the complaint reads.
The lawsuit comes a little over a week after CEO Elon Musk touted gains being made in Tesla's automated drive technology, including a new computer designed specifically for autonomous vehicles, and plans to have "full self-driving" Teslas on the road by as early as next year. Tesla has said that drivers of its current system should always be ready to retake control of the car; the system has visual and audio alerts if hands are away from the steering wheel for an extended period. But the company's marketing materials and its future-oriented CEO have come under fire for touting Autopilot's capabilities, possibly encouraging drivers to abdicate more control than is safe.
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