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Tesla autopilot causes first crash in China but car maker is blaming the driver

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A Tesla vehicle crashed in China on Wednesday after the driver mistook'autopilot mode' for a'self-driving' function. The driver is now pointing fingers at Tesla sales staff for overplaying the car's actual capabilities, claiming they implied that the system should take control of steering and braking under certain conditions. Tesla says Luo Zhen, the driver of the car, was responsible for maintaining control of the vehicle, but their investigation revealed his hands were not detected on the wheel. A Tesla vehicle crashed in China Wednesday (pictured), after the driver mistook'autopilot mode' for a'self-driving' function. The driver is now pointing fingers at the car maker's sales staff for overplaying the car's actual capabilities, in that the system should take control of steering and braking under certain conditions While driving to work, Lou Zhen set his Tesla Model S sedan in autopilot and took his hands off the wheel.


Tesla Autopilot most often used between 55 mph-65 mph, MIT researchers say

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

The tech is pretty cool, but don't let new developments in partially self-driving cars distract you from your responsibilities behind the wheel. A Tesla that the driver said was in Autopilot mode struck a parked police vehicle in Laguna Beach, Calif. SAN FRANCISCO -- Tesla's innovative and controversial Autopilot software -- which powers the partially self-driving features of its electric cars -- is most often used for highway driving, according to the initial findings of an MIT study using volunteer owners. The research, shared at a conference in Cambridge, Mass. Wednesday, came a day after the latest crash of a Tesla using Autopilot, and as two consumer groups renewed criticism of the software's name and marketing, which they say dangerously misleads drivers.


Tesla car catches fire during promotional event in France

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A Tesla electric car caught fire during a promotional tour in southwest France, and those aboard escaped unharmed. Tesla said in a statement that it is'working with the authorities to establish the facts' about Monday's fire in Bayonne. The driver was quoted in local newspaper Sud Ouest as saying he answered a Facebook ad offering test drives of the Model S sedan. The fire was captured by a passing motoring journalist. The driver was quoted in local newspaper Sud Ouest as saying he answered a Facebook ad offering test drives of the Model S sedan.


In wake of fatal Tesla crash, BMW announces slower move to self-driving vehicles

Los Angeles Times

A day after the disclosure of the first death in a crash involving a self-driving vehicle, BMW on Friday announced plans to release a fleet of fully autonomous vehicles by 2021. In a partnership with Intel and Mobileye, the German automaker said its planned iNEXT model won't require a human in the driver's seat. That marks a different course toward self-driving vehicles than Tesla, which offers a self-driving "autopilot" feature -- though drivers are supposed to stay engaged and keep their hands on the steering wheel. That system was in use during a fatal crash in Florida in May in which a Tesla Model S failed to detect a big rig in its path and apply the brakes. BMW Chief Executive Harold Krueger addressed the Tesla crash during a news conference in Munich, Germany, on Friday, saying his company is not yet ready to roll out partially or fully autonomous vehicles.


Is Tesla Dangerously Overhyping Autopilot's Abilities? Consumer Groups Think So

Forbes - Tech

Crashes involving drivers using Tesla's semi-automated Autopilot feature when those accidents occurred spurred two consumer groups to call on U.S. regulators to investigate company claims about the technology they call deceptive and that contribute to a misunderstanding of its limitations. In a letter sent to the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday, the Center for Auto Safety and Consumer Watchdog said marketing of Autopilot's capabilities by Tesla and CEO Elon Musk's public comments have led customers to believe their cars are capable of driving themselves. There've been two U.S. fatalities involving Tesla drivers who had Autopilot engaged when the accidents happened, and the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating two recent crashes in which Model S drivers in Los Angeles and Utah plowed into parked fire trucks while using it. "Consumers in the market for a new Tesla see advertisements proclaiming, Full Self-Driving Hardware on All Cars." They are directed to videos of Tesla vehicles driving themselves through busy public roads, with no human operation whatsoever," the groups said in their joint letter to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons.