The Tesla Autopilot is perhaps one of the first steps to truly automated vehicles, once thought to be squarely in the realm of science fiction and fantasy. While it cannot quite drive the vehicle on its own, it does offer assistance keeping the vehicle in its lane and can automatically adjust its speed based on traffic conditions nearby. While Tesla maintains that the feature is meant to be used by an attentive driver who has their hands on the wheel, consumer advocacy groups say that advertising may lead certain people to believe that the feature can replace an actual human driver.
KSRO reports on an accident being blamed on Tesla’s Autopilot by the vehicle’s driver.
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Eric Carter of Hamilton was driving his Tesla Model X on Route 1 in North Brunswick approaching Addams Lane just after 6:30 p.m. This is when Carter said that the vehicle’s autopilot feature detected a new lane and veered right while locking the steering wheel.
The Tesla went off the road, then struck a curb. After that, the vehicle hit some traffic signs before hitting another curb and coming to rest in a grassy area. While Carter was not injured in the accident, the vehicle sustained major damage.
Further, Carter was alone in the vehicle and there were no witnesses to the crash, leaving Carter as the only source of information.
A source at the police department said that there currently appeared to be no reason not to believe Carter’s version of events in the accident.
Tesla reached out to the New Brunswick Police Department for further information.