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Macon Personal Injury Attorneys > Blog > Auto Accidents > New Reports Indicate Tesla’s Autopilot Is Far Deadlier Than Expected

New Reports Indicate Tesla’s Autopilot Is Far Deadlier Than Expected


New reports indicate that Tesla’s driver-assistance system, the “Autopilot,” has been involved in far more car accidents than previously reported. Specifically, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of crashes involving Tesla in Autopilot have surged within the last four years, with more than 700 reported crashes occurring in that time due to the hazards associated with the technology and the growing number of cars in general present on the road.

Sadly, the number of injuries and deaths associated with these accidents has also surged over the last four years: The most recent data indicates that there have been close to 20 fatalities associated with Autopilot specifically, with most of them occurring just within the last year, and the number of serious injuries that go along with them is also on the rise.

Technology Flaws

There is no question that Tesla specifically  is experiencing more severe and fatal crashes than ever before: It is known that the vast majority of all automation-related crashes have involved Tesla specifically, and as the company experiments more and more aggressively each year with automation innovation and encourages the use of Autopilot in general, the numbers of deaths associated with it continue to increase. At this point, there is no question that the number of fatalities – as compared to the total number of crashes – is a growing concern.

While Tesla has made claims that cars operating under Autopilot are safer than those manned by people on the road, the data clearly indicates that there are a number of flaws still present in the technology, and there are some clear patterns in these flaws: Reportedly, four of the accidents involved a motorcycle; one an emergency vehicle; and most-all of them involved recent changes in the technology itself, such as the decision to get rid of radar sensors, while expanding the availability of a number of other features.

One likely cause is unquestionably the increase in popularity of the systems, and their arrival to cities and residential areas, however, there appears to be other factors at fault as well: The uptick in crashes appears to specifically coincide with Tesla’s aggressive rollout of the “Full Self-Driving” feature, which is reportedly an experimental feature allowing Teslas to follow directions along a route while Autopilot essentially controls the entire drive. In February 2023, Tesla reportedly recalled more than 350,000 vehicles equipped with the Full Self-Driving function due to concerns that the software essentially allowed the cars to disobey speed limits, stop signs, and traffic lights. As a result, a number of experts now hypothesize that it could be this particular feature that is contributing to the increase in collision rates, especially if drivers do not intervene.

Critical Questions Remain

It is also concerning that the data does not yet capture whether it was the Autopilot or Full Self-Driving that was in control when the accident occurred for a number of these accidents. This mystery was reportedly involved in at least three fatalities involving the vehicles.

While Tesla continues to respond to these crises by claiming that the issues have been remedied by software updates, at the same time, the company also decided to eliminate all radar sensors from newly released vehicles and disable those already operating on our roads, depriving drivers of a critical safety feature.

Contact Our Macon, Georgia Car Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident involving autopilot, it is critical that you contact an experienced attorney right away in order to find out what your options are. Contact the Macon car accident lawyers at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill today to schedule a free confidential consultation and find out how we can help in circumstances like these.



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