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Tesla crash driver's family hires law firm, doubts over autopilot

14 Avril 2018

But the denials ring false in the ears of forming Managing Director of the NTSB, Peter Goelz, who now works as a Senior Vice President in the Washington lobbying firm O'Neill & Associates. The NTSB said it did so because Tesla, without permission from the NTSB, relayed information to the public regarding the investigation. Still caught in the middle of production issues with the 3, Musk said the production numbers for the new SUV would stand at one million units per year. Its reason for doing so apparently involves Tesla's preference for making information public.

The dispute between the safety agency and auto maker stems from statements the company made regarding Walter Huang, a 38-year-old who died last month in his Model X using the driver-assistance system known as Autopilot. The company indicated that with minimum follow distances that drivers needed to be attentive to the road and ready to intervene with hands on the steering wheel. Unfortunately for the industry, that may take longer than many initially thought - yet another fatal self-driving crash occurred on March 23.

Removals from NTSB party agreements are rare.

Tesla has been removed as a party to the NTSB's investigation into a fatal Model X crash, with the agency taking issue with the automaker's premature public release of Autopilot information.

But Tesla said the NTSB "repeatedly released partial bits of incomplete information.at the same time that they were trying to prevent us from telling all the facts".

The statement went on to tout Tesla's safety records and the praise that its Autopilot system has received from the NTSB - something that's not really at question here.

NTSB spokesman Christopher O'Neil said the agency declined to comment on Tesla's allegations. Its mission is to investigate accidents and make safety recommendations to the relevant government body. It pointed to US government data indicating that Tesla's Autosteer system, which is part of Autopilot, reduced crash rates by as much as 40% compared to vehicles without it. Even if it refuses, the NTSB can subpoena the info.

Not much is known about the SUV, other than it finalises the spelling of "S3XY" if you order the different Tesla vehicle badges correctly. Tesla confirmed that Huang's Tesla sedan that hit a concrete divider and two other cars was on autopilot mode. NHTSA pinned the crash on driver error, saying the system wasn't defective.

The family of a driver killed last month in a Tesla vehicle crash has hired law firm Minami Tamaki LLP to explore legal options, the firm said on 11 April, adding the Autopilot feature was defective and probably caused his death. Tesla's share price has plunged 2.2 percent this year, and was trading 1.29 percent lower on Thursday at $297.

Now 14 months later, Tesla is pushing a new 2018.14 software update and it appears to feature some significant improvement for the browser.

While sympathizing with the family, Tesla again blamed Huang. However, only time will tell if the Huang family's lawyer will accept Tesla's explanation.

Along with Tesla, Cadillac, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and others already, or soon will offer this sort of semi-autonomous system, requiring the human behind the wheel remain attentive.

One possible model here is the Cadillac Super Cruise. The company is also setting up a factory in China. The automaker noted that Tesla vehicles with Autopilot engaged had driven through the same area hundreds of times before without incident.

Tesla crash driver's family hires law firm, doubts over autopilot