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Tesla Crash Fatality: Are Driverless Cars Really Ready For The Open Road?

November 23, 2016
Colson Hicks Eidson

He was a Navy Seal who served for over 11 years as a master explosive ordnance disposal technician, he was the founder of a tech company called Nexu Innovations Inc., and this 40-year-old man from Ohio was also an early adopter of new technology. However, on May 7th this former Seal met with a tragedy no one could have anticipated.

Tesla Crash Fatality

He was known for his passion for technology, and that passion drove this 40-year-old from Ohio to purchase a Tesla Model S. He was so enthusiastic about the car, and its partial autonomous driving feature, that he constantly posted YouTube videos showing off the car’s ability to drive itself, but that feature was still in development.

On May 7th, while his car was in autopilot mode near Williston, a white 18-wheeler took a left hand turn in front of this former Navy Seal. Tesla reports that the truck’s white exterior against the “brightly lit sky” caused the car to not notice the truck, and so it never applied the brakes. The entrepreneur and former Navy man did not survive the resulting crash.

Are Driverless Cars Really Ready For The Open Road?

The auto industry in general has made a huge push toward developing autonomous driving technology. This new driverless push has been touted as the future of driving, and these companies insist that automated cars would drive in a manner that is safer than a normal driver can manage, but this fatality brings all of these claims into doubt.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is now working with the Florida Highway Patrol to investigate this crash. NHTSA is also expected to release new rules on how autonomous cars must be operated on public roads, and many experts believe that this crash could have a dramatic effect on these rules. This is the first fatality associated with the use of driverless technology.

The defective auto parts lawyers here at Colson Hicks Eidson will keep an eye on this case, so keep following our blogFacebookTwitter for any updates that could affect your safety on the road.