Tesla's vaunted Autopilot feature may have been the cause of an accident in Culver City, California earlier this week, according to a report from by CBS Los Angeles. The driver reports the Tesla was on autopilot and he was not paying attention.
"Amazingly, there were no injuries", an official said.
While Tesla cars come with technology to enhance its "autopilot" system-a mix of cameras and radar-they aren't autonomous vehicles.
In its owner's manual, Tesla repeatedly warns drivers to pay attention to the road while using the semi-autonomous Autopilot system. The autopilot system is created to get a driver's attention if it detects a challenging situation and brings the auto to a stop if a driver does not respond.
The National Transportation Safety Board determined Tuesday that a truck driver's failure to yield the right of way and a auto driver's inattention due to overreliance on vehicle automation are the probable cause of the fatal May 7, 2016, crash near Williston, Florida. In that case, the Autopilot system, which has since been updated, apparently did not recognize the white truck trailer against the bright sky.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time Tesla's Autopilot failed during a road test.
Tesla's autopilot system, however, is still progressing and requires drivers to be prepared to grab the wheel and react to circumstances at all times. If the driver never responds, the auto will gradually slow down until it stops and the flashing hazard lights will come on.
The company has emphasized that "Autopilot is not a fully self-driving technology and drivers need to remain attentive at all times".
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the accident, which took place on Monday, January 22, on Interstate 405. In other words, you have to be sober, so Tesla's autopilot won't get you out of a DUI. Officers said his blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit. Previously, the NTSB linked Tesla's autopilot function to a in Florida in 2016 where a Model S driver died when his vehicle slid underneath a semi-trailer.