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Tesla again facing lawsuit over fatal Autopilot crash with Semi-Truck

Tesla’s Autopilot Fail added to another tragic for the company. This giant company Tesla was sued by a family of Jeremy Beren Banner, a 50-year-old man who died in an accident while using the company’s advanced autopilot driver assistance system. Banner family sued Tesla for wrongful death. The lawsuit was announced by the family’s lawyer but apparently, it is yet not been filed.

As per the news, the report is to be filed with the Palm Beach County Clerk but not yet done. While suing for wrongful death, the family also asked for damages worth more than $15,000. The incident took place along the Florida highway. Banner had activated the autopilot just about 10 seconds before the accident. The Tesla Model 3 was believed to be at 68 miles per hour when it crashed into a tractor-trailer which was crossing the path of Banner vehicle. The collision tore off the roof of the car and came to a stop about 1600 feet away from the site of impact.

This is the second case where Tesla is being sued for a fatal crash involving the technology whereas Banner is the fourth person known to have died while using the company’s autopilot assistance mode, again. The first instance where Tesla was sued was when Wei Huang, a 38-year-old died by crashing into an off-ramp divider in his Model X while using the company’s autopilot assistance mode.

The National Transportation Safety Board said that the vehicle “did not detect the driver’s hands on the steering wheel” between about 8 seconds before the crash and the time of impact. However, Tesla said that the data logs showed that Banner “immediately removed his hands from the wheel.”

The company had given clear instructions to not remove their hands from the steering wheel while using the Autopilot mode, which meant that Banner did not comply with the company’s instructions and the company is at less or not fault. 

“They just get too used to it. That tends to be more of an issue. It’s not a lack of understanding of what Autopilot can do. It’s [drivers] thinking they know more about Autopilot than they do,” said Elon Musk, CEO of the giant company. He also said that Musk the past that accidents due to the Autopilot assistance mode are more of a result of the “complacency” of “inexperienced user[s].”

The circumstances of Banner’s accident very closely resemble that of an accident occurred in 2016 which involved the engagement of the Autopilot mode in his Tesla Model S at the time of the accident. Joshua Brown, a 40-year-old crashed quite a similar way into a truck that was crossing its path in the Florida highway. He too was using the company’s Autopilot at the time of the accident. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that the lack of safeguards contributed to the accident but NHTSA said that Brown was not paying attention to the road.

All said Tesla should take steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again, be it letting the customers educate about the instructions or improve the Autopilot system.

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