Tesla’s Autopilot along with the company’s “full self-driving” tech have become an increasingly common story about what can go wrong with advanced technology. The reality is there are consequences when things go wrong and some of those can be fatal. Kevin George Aziz Riad was behind the wheel of a Tesla Model S in 2019 when it collided with another car, killing the two people inside.
Riad was using the Tesla Autopilot at the time. Riad recently pleaded no contest to two counts of vehicular manslaughter.
Riad was sentenced to probation, 31 days of work service, 100 hours of community service, a hospital/morgue program, and 90 days of house arrest. At the time of the accident, Riad was driving his tesla at 74 miles per hour when he ran a red light and slammed into the other car. A Tesla engineer was called and testified to the vehicles speed, that the Riad’s hands were on the steering wheel, but that the brakes were never applied.
This is believed to be the first felony prosecution against someone using partially autonomous driving technology. The question of liability for autonomous vehicles is a difficult one and threatens to slow down technological development in an industry that has been moving full speed ahead. Some automakers have toyed with the idea of accepting liability for crashes that happen when driving assistant features are active. , The research reveals that many of the high-profile Tesla crashes occurred due to driver negligence or using the technologies without following safety precautions.
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