A long time has passed since the automobile was first invented. A lot has changed about cars since then. From things ranging from style to speed to mechanics, more recently automakers are creating an autopilot feature for their cars now. A vehicle equipped with this autopilot feature can essentially drive itself, but is it safe?
One of the most famous brand of cars that is equipped with autopilot is Tesla. Tesla may be touted as the car of the future with its innovative features and the fact that it runs on electricity, but Tesla has been in the news lately despite all of its safety features. Even though all new Teslas come with autopilot, there have been recent incidents, accidents, and even deaths from people’s negligence in their Teslas. People are not paying attention to the road, falling asleep, and unexpectedly not even sitting in the driver’s seat. This begs the question of whether the autopilot feature even makes cars like Teslas safer than other cars.
Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, has recently said that his Tesla vehicles are “now approaching 10 times lower chance of accident than average vehicle with Autopilot engaged”, but experts say that this statistic is misleading. Autopilot is usually used on the highway so this stat doesn’t take into account city driving. In addition, there is some ambiguity in Tesla car accidents on when the autopilot feature is engaged or disengaged.
Fully automated vehicles are still a ways away. There are over self-driving 1,400 vehicles being tested by about 80 companies. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that these kinds of cars can “control steering, braking and accelerating simultaneously under some circumstances.” In the meanwhile, there are many vehicles on the road that “only” have an autopilot feature. There is potential for these cars to make the roads safer than ever, but people seem to be taking autopilot for granted. The government is still trying to figure out what kind of new safety standards if any should be placed on these kinds of vehicles. In the meantime, it’s important for people to drive autopilot cars like they would normal cars. People should drive autopilot cars like they are the driver’s education instructor behind the wheel and not the student. If you’re in an accident with an autopiloted car, call the experienced auto accident lawyers at Hurst Limontes LLC. (317) 636-0808.