There are unconfirmed reports that a Tesla involved in a southern California freeway crash may have been operating on autopilot before the wreck, according to the California Highway Patrol. The May 5 crash which resulted in a fatality is also under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The probe is the 29th case involving a Tesla that the federal agency has probed. In the crash, a 35-year-old man was killed when his Tesla Model 3 struck an overturned semi on a freeway about 2:30 a.m. The driver's name has not yet been made public. Another man was seriously injured when the electric vehicle hit him as he was helping the semi’s driver out of the wreck.
The CHP announced that its preliminary investigation had determined that the Tesla’s partially automated driving system called Autopilot “was engaged" prior to the crash. The CHP has since walked back its previous declaration. A new statement from the CHP said, “There has not been a final determination made as to what driving mode the Tesla was in or if it was a contributing factor to the crash." At least three people have died in previous U.S. crashes involving Autopilot. The CHP initially said it was commenting on the crash due to the “high level of interest" about Tesla crashes and because it was “an opportunity to remind the public that driving is a complex task that requires a driver’s full attention.” The federal safety investigation comes just after the CHP arrested another man who authorities have said was in the back seat of a Tesla that was driving this week on Interstate 80 near Oakland with no one behind the wheel. The CHP has not said if officials have determined whether the Tesla in the I-80 incident was operating on Autopilot, which can keep a car centered in its lane and a safe distance behind vehicles in front of it. It remains likely that either Autopilot or “Full Self-Driving” were in operation for the driver to be in the back seat. Tesla is allowing a limited number of owners to test its self-driving system. Tesla has disbanded its public relations department and has not responded to emails seeking comment. The company says in owner’s manuals and on its website that both Autopilot and “Full Self-Driving” are not fully autonomous and that drivers must pay attention and be ready to intervene at any time. Autopilot at times has had trouble dealing with stationary objects and traffic crossing in front of Tesla’s. There have been two Florida crashes in 2016 and 2019 where Tesla’s with Autopilot in use drove beneath crossing tractor-trailers, killing the men driving the Tesla’s. In a 2018 crash in Mountain View, California, an Apple engineer driving on Autopilot was killed when his Tesla struck a highway barrier. Tesla’s system, which uses cameras, radar and short-range sonar, also has trouble handling stopped emergency vehicles. Tesla’s have struck several firetrucks and police vehicles that were stopped on freeways with their flashing emergency lights on. We represent people who are injured because of the careless and reckless acts of others. At the end of the day your case can only be settled one time and you need to know all of the facts beforehand. The reason that insurance companies have paid our clients in excess of $130,000,000.00 is that we get the facts and are not intimidated at the prospect of going to trial when insurance companies fail to offer full compensation. We help with serious injuries that require serious representation. We are the Law Offices of Guenard & Bozarth, LLP. Our attorneys have more than 60 years of experience specializing in only representing injured people.. Call GB Legal 24/7/365 at 888-809-1075 or visit www.gblegal.com We would be honored to represent you!