“A former Navy SEAL has become the first person to die at the wheel of a self-driving car – and a witness has claimed he was watching a Harry Potter movie when his Tesla collided with a truck while on autopilot,” Ollie Gillman reports for The Daily Mail. “Joshua Brown, 40, died after his computer-guided Tesla Model S plowed into a tractor trailer on a freeway in Williston, Florida, in May.”
“Despite the claim, Tesla says it is not possible to play films on the vehicle’s touchscreen – however it is possible Brown was using another device,” Gillman reports. “The driver of the truck, Frank Baressi, said the Tesla driver was ‘playing Harry Potter on the TV screen’ at the time of the crash,” Gillman reports. “‘It was still playing when he died and snapped a telephone pole a quarter mile down the road,’ Baressi, 62, said.”
“Tesla said its autopilot system failed to detect the truck because its white color was similar to that of the bright sky, adding that the driver also made no attempt to hit the brakes. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating,” Gillman reports. “Tesla said its cars come with autopilot disabled and that owners have to acknowledge the system is new when they use it.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: And, unfortunately, he won’t be the last. (But Tesla’s system, even in its current nascent state is still safer on average versus all vehicles.)
Our condolences to Brown’s family and friends.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]