Three weeks after the death of Mr Walter Huang, who died when his Tesla X slammed into a highway barrier whilst on autopilot, Tesla has again placed the blame for the fatal crash solely on the driver, just as the man’s family hired a firm to explore legal options.
Tesla stated: “The only way for this accident to have occurred is if Mr. Huang was not paying attention to the road, despite the car providing multiple warnings to do so.”
“The fundamental premise of both moral and legal liability is a broken promise, and there was none here.”
From a legal standpoint, the rhetoric Tesla is now using broadens its ability to defend the car’s Autopilot system.
<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Tesla is blaming a deadly Model X crash on the driver <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/tictocnews?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#tictocnews</a> <a href="https://t.co/fMptdzLpCz">https://t.co/fMptdzLpCz</a> <a href="https://t.co/hsfjbR6NuD">pic.twitter.com/hsfjbR6NuD</a></p>— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) <a href="https://twitter.com/tictoc/status/984278770713546759?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 12, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board investigators are also looking into the crash that killed Mr Huang, and have already stated their displeasure at Tesla’s decision to release a statement right after the accident, whilst other groups are also voicing their criticism of the Elon Musk company in this matter.
Mr Bryant Walker Smith who studies driverless-car regulations as a professor at the University of South Carolina’s School of Law, says: “Just because a driver does something stupid doesn’t mean they, or others who are truly blameless, should be condemned to an otherwise preventable death.”
“One might consider whether there are better ways to prevent drivers from hurting themselves or, worse, others.”