Tesla settles case over fatal 2018 crash of Apple engineer; says autopilot cannot fully replace a human driver – ET Auto

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The settlement would help Tesla avoid a lengthy jury trial over what role its Autopilot driver-assistance technology may have played in the crash.

Tesla has settled a lawsuit over a car crash which killed an Apple engineer in 2018 after his car veered off a highway near San Francisco, court documents showed on Monday.

The settlement would help Tesla avoid a lengthy jury trial over what role its Autopilot driver-assistance technology may have played in the crash.

The case involves a highway accident that killed Walter Huang. Tesla had contended Huang misused the system because he was playing a video game just before the accident.

Huang’s family had alleged Autopilot steered his 2017 Model X into a highway barrier. Lawyers for Huang’s family had also raised questions about whether Tesla understood drivers likely would not or could not use the system as directed, and what steps the automaker took to protect them.

The crash that killed Huang was among hundreds of U.S. accidents in which Autopilot was a suspected factor in reports to auto safety regulators.

The Autopilot system can steer, accelerate and brake by itself on the open road but cannot fully replace a human driver, especially in city driving. Tesla materials explaining the system warn that it does not make the car autonomous and requires a “fully attentive driver” who can “take over at any moment”.

  • Published On Apr 9, 2024 at 10:46 AM IST

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