A Tesla Model 3 crashed in China after its Autopilot system failed to respond to a blockage on the far right side of the road on September 18. No injuries were reported.
According to one media outlet’s report, the owner of the Tesla Model 3 hit more than a dozen roadblocks before getting back on track in the accident.
The owner of the car said the Autopilot system recognized the roadblock at the time of the crash, but did not slow down. “I was going as far to the right as I could, and then the vehicle accelerated because I hit the accelerator by mistake,” the vehicle owner added.
The mainstream assisted driving systems mainly use two types of sensors including cameras and millimeter-wave radar. Tesla, on the other hand, adopts a pure visual perception scheme, that is, it only relies on the camera as image acquisition, and uses the on-board SoC chip for real-time computing. Visual perception is susceptible to environmental disturbances such as sunlight and alternating light and dark. Tesla recently added a new automatic lane change function to Autopilot, which is now available through OTA in the United States.
Tesla sold more than 930,000 new cars in 2021, a year-on-year increase of 87%. In the first half of 2022, Tesla has delivered more than 560,000 new cars. As Tesla’s sales have grown year by year, so has the number of accidents caused by the use of the Autopilot system.
According to statistics from the teslapaths.com, up to now, Tesla vehicles have been involved in a total of 304 deaths worldwide, of which it has been confirmed (officially confirmed/claimed by those involved) that the number of deaths caused by the Autopilot system is 15. According to statistics released by the U.S. federal safety regulator, among a total of 392 car accidents involving assisted driving that occurred from July 2021 to May 5, 2022, 273 of the vehicles were from Tesla.
With the gradual increase in the number of car accidents involving driver assistance systems, the role of the system has recently begun to be emphasized at the regulatory and court judgment levels. In July of this year, Tesla was fined 112,000 euros by the Munich court in Germany for the hidden dangers of assisted driving.
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According to a Reuters report on September 14, Tesla was sued in a class lawsuit for making false claims about autonomous driving. The plaintiffs argue that Tesla’s move is aimed at attracting investment, avoiding bankruptcy and increasing sales. The indictment showed that since 2016, Tesla knew its self-driving technology was immature, but still claimed it could be used normally, which made its vehicles a safety hazard.