Texas readers know Tesla is a popular car company that sells vehicles that come with advanced technological systems, such as an autopilot system and automatic emergency braking system. In many Tesla models, drivers have the option to engage the autopilot system. However, a recent accident is raising questions regarding the safety and effectiveness of that driver assistance system.

Although this specific accident took place in another state, you may find it interesting to note that it resulted in two federal agencies launching investigations into the popular automaker and its vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board sent teams to look into this accident and determine what happened. The two groups are likely attempting to determine if the driver had the autopilot engaged at the time of the crash.

A tragic event

This most recent accident is one of a few that may involve the use of Tesla’s autopilot system. The crash, involving a Tesla and a semitrailer, is similar to an accident that took place in 2016. If the investigation into the accident and previous incidents conclude that there is a serious safety concern with the system, the NHSTA can initiate a recall. 

Investigators are trying to determine what factors played a role in this collision, during which a Tesla vehicle crashed into the side of a tractor-trailer. The force of the impact sheared the roof off the car, and the vehicle traveled under the truck, coming to rest a full one-third of a mile from where the impact happened. The driver died in the accident. It is not immediately clear about the use of the autopilot feature in this crash. 

Is it a faulty system?

According to Tesla, drivers should not take their hands from the wheel when using the autopilot system. They should also be fully attentive when using the system. Several accidents involving Tesla vehicles raise serious questions about how safe it is, whether Tesla owners understand the limitations of the system and other concerns. 

What it means for you 

You may not own a Tesla, but the issue of self-driving vehicles and autopilot features is something that could impact your safety at some point in the future. When a person faces negative consequences as the result of a faulty car system, defective car parts and other factors beyond their control, they may have valid grounds to move forward with a civil claim.