from My Car Quest (with permission of the author) Another Tesla Driver’s Family Sues The Company Another Tesla has killed its driver (on March 1, 2019). This is the fourth known person to die while using Autopilot, and his family is the second to sue Tesla over a fatal crash involving the technology. It has already been determined the Autopilot system was on. Again a tractor trailer was cutting across its bow, to use sailor talk, and the Tesla didn’t see it, and tried to go under it. Virtually identical to the first such death reported, back in May 2016, where a truck was cutting across the Tesla’s path, killing the Tesla’s driver. In his defense Musk says that the system isn’t automatic–it requires that drivers remain attentive and ready to take control of the car. But it’s obvious owners are putting too much faith in it. After all, it is seemingly viceless, so why not relax and let the car do the steering? And yet Musk keeps the system’s name “Autopilot” making it seem like the Autopilot in an airplane where it truly can fly on its own. Why can’t Musk just admit his car’s need another supplementary system to spot trucks? Those four drivers died because of Musk’s stubbornness, first his stubbornness to change the name to something that is not such a blatant lie and secondly because he wants the name Autopilot to be a sales attraction to potential drivers from thinking the perfect system already exists, that it has been invented and is already available on Tesla vehicles. Tesla might argue in court that on the latest crash, their system did not detect the driver’s hands on the wheel for the eight seconds before the crash but I say again it’s the name of the feature “AUTOpilot” that implies it is being automatically piloted. Not to worry, right? Image Unavailable, Please Login Image from Tesla It is true that in this latest accident, the owner was speeding, going 68 mph when the speed limit was 55 mph, and failed to make any last minute evasive maneuvers. What happened next is gruesome. As the car went under the truck, or to be more exact, the car body went under but, like the first Tesla death the roof didn’t make it, shorn off. Copywriters must be in short supply at Tesla’s ad agency that no one can think of a name for this dubious feature that doesn’t lead people astray as to its capabilities. It is difficult to re-recreate an accident but it could be done. If the Tesla Autopilot had signaled a danger, I think it could be proven that the driver still had a few seconds to stop. But that driver was trusting the Autopilot to keep him out of trouble. I compare the Autopilot system on a Tesla to a guest you are reluctant to invite to a party. What if someone told you that you should invite Richard, who is well groomed, erudite, and indeed charming but the rumor is that, every few months at a party, he takes out a knife and cuts another guest’s head off? Gives you a moment of pause, doesn’t it?