Tesla has just been sued by the family of Wei Walter Huang, the engineer who died following an accident caused by the autopilot of his Model X in which the vehicle crashed into a motorway safety barrier in March last year.
In the complaint, the family states that Huang's Model X failed to automatically activate the automatic emergency braking system. This feature is available on several vehicles, even some less expensive than other car manufacturers, so it's impossible for Huang's Model X to lack it.
After several reports, it was concluded that the man died because "he was testing a Beta version of the new self-driving system," reported B. Mark Fong, current prosecution attorney, in a statement made in Bloomberg. "The Huang family wants to help prevent this tragedy from happening to other drivers in Tesla or other semi-autonomous vehicles."
On March 23, 2018, Huang was traveling on U.S. Highway 101, when his Model X crashed into the safety barrier that separates the highway from an exit ramp. The front of the vehicle was literally ripped apart, causing the car to fire and a chain rear-end collision in which two other cars were involved. Huang died in the hospital from injuries sustained during the accident.
Tesla refused to comment on the matter but later stated that the cause of the accident was a damaged safety barrier, which would have contributed to the crash. By analyzing the telemetry, Tesla also managed to establish that Huang had "about five seconds and 150 meters remaining distance" before his car went to hit the barriers. The man could therefore have saved himself by putting his hands on the wheel and returning to manual driving.
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