Tesla has released another update for last week's deadly crash. As it turned out, Tesla said that the driver had turned on the autopilot and adaptive cruise control pitch was set to minimum. However, it seems that the driver ignores the warnings of the vehicle to regain control.
"The driver had received several visual and audible hands-on warnings earlier in the ride and the driver's hands were not detected on the steering wheel for six seconds to collision," Tesla wrote in a blog post. "The driver had about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete partition with the broken crash cushion, but the vehicle logs show nothing was done."
The promise of Tesla's autopilot system is to reduce car accidents. In the company's blog post, Tesla notes that the autopilot is reducing the crash rate by 40 percent, according to an independent review by the US government. Of course that does not mean that the technology is perfect to prevent all accidents.
As Tesla previously noted, the accident was so severe because the middle divider of the freeway had been damaged in a previous accident. Tesla also warned that the autopilot does not prevent all accidents, but it makes them less likely.
Nobody knows about the accidents that did not happen, only about those who happened. The consequences of the fact that the public does not use the autopilot because it is not certain that it is less safe would be extremely serious. Worldwide there are about 1.25 million deaths in the automotive industry. Applying the current safety level of a Tesla vehicle would mean about 900,000 lives a year. We expect the safety level of autonomous cars to be 10 times safer than non-autonomous cars.
In the past, when we set up statistical safety points, we were criticized for it, meaning that we have no empathy for the car tragedy that has just occurred. Nothing is further from the truth. We care very much for those who have decided to give us their trust. But we also have to look after people who can save their lives now and in the future if they know that autopilot improves safety. None of this changes how devastating an event like this is or how much we feel for the family and friends of our clients. We are incredibly sorry for her loss.
This is naturally the result of a fatal accident involving one of Uber's self-driving cars in Tempe, Arizona.