If you own a Tesla, or a loved one does, or you're thinking about buying one, or you share public roads with Tesla cars, you might want to watch the new documentary "Elon Musk's Crash Course." Premiering Friday on FX and Hulu, the 75-minute fright show spotlights the persistent dangers of Tesla's automated driving technologies, the company's lax safety culture, Musk's P.T. Barnum-style marketing hype and the weak-kneed safety regulators who seem not to care. Get Screen Gab for weekly recommendations, analysis, interviews and irreverent discussion of the TV and streaming movies everyone's talking about. You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times. The central through line is the story of Joshua Brown, a rabid Tesla fan and derring-do techno-geek beheaded when his Autopilot-engaged Tesla drove itself at full speed on a Florida highway underneath the trailer of a semi-truck in 2016.
Tesla's controversial Autopilot feature was not to blame for a crash at a turnpike in Pennsylvania earlier this month, Elon Musk has claimed. Logs released by the electric car manufacturer show that the feature was not turned on at the time of the crash, despite reports that it may have played a role. The accident came weeks after a Tesla Model S collided with a tractor-trailer on a freeway in Williston, Florida, after it failed to detect the white trailer against the sky. Tesla's auto-pilot system did not cause a crash that'destroyed' a Model X car (pictured) after it suddenly swerved off a road at 60mph and hit some wooden guard rail posts. The 40-year-old driver Joshua Brown died in the accident.
Just a few days ago, the first fatality in a Tesla Model S using the autopilot function was reported. Now another severe Tesla crash has occurred while the vehicle was allegedly on autopilot. This time the crash involved a Model X, and luckily everyone involved survived. Just a few days ago, the first fatality in a Tesla Model S using the autopilot function was brought to our attention. Now another severe Tesla crash has occurred while the vehicle was allegedly on autopilot.
It's been nearly a year and a half since Joshua Brown became the first person to die in a car driving itself. In May 2016, Brown was on a Florida highway in his Tesla Model S using Autopilot, the semi-autonomous driver assist feature that handles steering and speed during highway driving. Tesla has always warned drivers that Autopilot isn't perfect. According to car's driving manual and the disclaimer drivers accept before they can engage it, the system should only have been used on highways with clear lane markings, strict medians, and exit and entrance ramps. So when a tractor trailer turning left crossed into the Model S's lane, the system did not recognize it--and the car crashed into its side, killing Brown instantly.
The crash that killed a Tesla driver in Florida when his car struck a tractor-trailer may mark the world's first fatal accident in which a computer was at the wheel. The crash occurred when the truck turned left across the 2015 Model S Tesla's path and the car's autopilot failed to slow down. The deadly accident, which took the life of 40-year-old Joshua David Brown of Ohio and is the subject of a federal safety investigation that Tesla disclosed Thursday, is bound to raise a lot of questions about vehicle automation and the future of car travel. It may be tempting to describe this as a driverless car crash, but don't give in. There's a big difference between assisted driving technologies and full automation, and what we have here is the former.