Tesla Autopilot Engaged When California Driver Killed
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento wrongful death lawyer. Tesla just announced that the company has introduced new safety features for their vehicles following the death of a California driver who recently died when the car’s autopilot malfunctioned. The accident occurred on May 23 when the vehicle, with the autopilot engaged, crashed with a roadside barrier, causing it to catch fire. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Walter Huang, 38, from San Mateo. Another incident occurred in March when one of the vehicles struck and killed a 49-year-old pedestrian in Arizona, apparently without detecting her presence as she walked across the road.
Were Both Vehicles on Autopilot?
The system for the autopilot system in autonomous vehicles can accelerate, steer and brake, depending on conditions. However, Tesla reports that vehicles cannot operate independently. Drivers are supposed to have their hands on the vehicle’s steering wheel during testing. According to the family of Huang, he had taken his test vehicle back to the dealer on several occasions, complaining that the vehicle kept moving toward the barrier where it was operating along Highway 101, close to Mountain View. This is the same area in which the vehicle crashed, taking his life.
Earlier Tesla Crash
The other recent incident happened when one of the self-driving vehicles went off the road, through a portion of fence and ended up in a pond in Alameda County. The pilot in the vehicle was identified as 34-year-old Keith Leung from Danville. It was later determined that the autopilot feature was not engaged at the time of Leung’s accident.
Tesla Response to the Latest Crash
Tesla announced that, in the latest accident, the driver had received audible and visual warnings that the vehicle did not detect hands on the steering wheel. Six seconds before the fatal collision, the system still did not detect that the driver had hands on the wheel. Whether he did that after this point is unknown. New measures to improve the safety of the vehicles has been introduced by the company, which includes shutting the autopilot off and stopping the vehicle if the driver removes his/her hand from the wheel for very long.
Defective Product Deaths
Deaths that occur due to a defective product are wrongful deaths under products liability. This means that the family of the decedent can file a claim for financial compensation for the loss of their loved one. Under strict liability, negligence does not have to be proved, only that the item was defective. Liability for a defective auto product that results in an injury or death can lie with more than just the manufacturer. It may also include:
- The parts manufacturer
- The installer or assembler of the product
- The business where the product was bought
- The wholesaler
When faced with the death of a loved one because of an autonomous vehicle crash, a self-driving car accident lawyer can help. Beside explaining what your rights are, a lawyer can help by gathering the evidence in the case, interviewing witnesses and using experts to form a strong case for compensation.
Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento wrongful death lawyer. When a family member is killed as a result of an error by an autonomous vehicle, they may be able to seek fair compensation for the loss of their loved one. For friendly, compassionate and free advice, call (916) 921-6400. My toll-free number is (800) 404-5400.
Check the following links to find out what types of cases I have worked on and what other clients have had to say at:
As a member of the Million Dollar Forum, I join other trial attorneys who have obtained $1 million in either settlements or verdicts for their previous clients.
I have represented many people in Sacramento and the surrounding areas of Northern California since 1982 to obtain compensation for many types of car accidents and brain injuries.
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/tesla-tesla-model-x-charging-1738969/
:cd [cs 688] cv