Nearly a year and a half since Tesla driver Joshua Brown became the first person to die in a car driving itself, America’s National Transportation Safety Board has ruled that the carmaker “bears some of the blame” for the crash.
Wired magazine reports that, despite the fact there were warnings that its autopilot function is not perfect and that drivers must remain vigilant, the NTSA says it should not have sold a system that which allowed that kind of misuse.
The crash happened when a tractor trailer turning left crossed into the Model S’s lane, the system did not recognise it and the car crashed into its side, killing Brown instantly.
“The combined effects of human error and the lack of sufficient system controls resulted in a fatal collision that should not have happened,” Robert Sumwalt, the chairman of the NTSB, is quoted by Wired as saying.
The report adds that the NTSB’s comments are the most substantive rebuke yet of not only Tesla, but of an industry “eager to offer drivers automated features that could be easily abused—with deadly consequences.”
Since the crash, Tesla has updated the Autopilot system that was controlling the car at the time. After the crash, the American Government’s safety watchdog concluded that because Brown was supposed to be monitoring the car’s driving so human error caused the crash.