Since launching its Autopilot program, Tesla has run into a few problems. In response, Tesla and its supporters are attacking the media's coverage of autonomous vehicles. However, the recent wave of collisions involving self-driving vehicles has made some Texas motorists wary about the new technology.
In May, for example, the driver of a Tesla Model S crashed into a fire truck in Utah. The driver, who survived with a broken ankle, said that Autopilot was on but that she was viewing her phone at the time of the crash. The media's attention on the incident provoked critical comments from the Tesla CEO, who said in effect that the news should focus on more serious accidents.
To many, this sounds like the company is trying to avoid scrutiny of its own technology, which has yet to be proven safe. Some say that Tesla's technology was developed in a regulatory vacuum, and its vehicles have not been adequately test driven. A RAND study states that such vehicles should be test-driven for billions of miles before they're considered safe.
Analysts say that the Utah story is news-worthy because of the technology involved, not the injuries that resulted. People also know that Autopilot makes driver complacent and thus prone to distraction.
Being distracted or made complacent by technology is no excuse for failing to maintain control of a vehicle. When such negligence leads to motor vehicle accidents, the innocent victims can seek compensation. With help from a lawyer, a victim could negotiate for a fair settlement. A successful claim may cover medical expenses, vehicle damage and lost wages.