Tesla driver in fatal California crash is first to face criminal charges involving autopilot

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta January 19, 2022
Updated 2022/01/19 at 9:03 AM

A Tesla owner is facing the first criminal charges brought against someone who uses a partially automated driving system in the US, according to PAN. Defendant Kevin George Aziz Riad was driving a Model S when he ran a red light and collided with a Honda Civic at a California intersection in 2019. It ended up killing both Civic passengers, while Riad and his companion were killed. threatening injuries. California prosecutors filed two vehicular manslaughter charges against Riyadh in October of last year.

The court documents allegedly didn’t mention anything about autopilot. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which has been investigating the incident for the past two years, recently confirmed that it was on at the time of the accident. NHTSA formally opened an investigation into Tesla’s driver assistance system in August last year, following a series of 11 accidents involving parked vehicles that killed 17 people. It is also investigating other types of accidents involving Tesla vehicles, including a claim blaming the beta version of the company’s Full Self Driving technology for a collision in California.

Like PAN notes, Riyadh is the first to face charges involving a widely used driver assistance technology, but he is not the first person to use an automated driving system to be charged in the US. In 2020, an Uber backup driver was charged with negligent manslaughter after the company’s self-driving test vehicle hit and killed a pedestrian in Arizona. According to an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Uber’s technology detected the victim more than five seconds before the accident, but failed to identify him as a pedestrian. The driver could have avoided the accident if he had been paying attention.

NHTSA said PAN in a statement that “every vehicle requires the human driver to be in control at all times”, even if it has a partially automated system. in your Automatic pilot page, Tesla says Autopilot is “intended to be used with a fully attentive driver who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any time.”

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