California prosecutors are prosecuting Kevin George Aziz Riad for the crime “vehicular manslaughter”, equivalent to manslaughter in Brazil, due to an accident in which the autopilot yours Tesla Model S crashed into a vehicle. Inside the vehicle were two people who died in the collision. Riyadh is responding to both crimes, marking the first time a driver has been prosecuted in a self-driving accident.
Tesla’s Autopilot crossed a red light
The accident happened in the city of Gardena, located in the metropolitan region of Los Angeles. Kevin was exiting a highway with the autopilot activated and came across a red signal (traffic light depending on your region) on a roadside. THE Tesla Model S, according to the police, was at high speed. Kevin’s car didn’t stop and hit a Honda Civic, killing a couple on board. In addition to Kevin, there was another woman aboard the Model S. Both were unharmed from the accident.
Tesla Model S, model involved in the missing accident. Source: Disclosure/Tesla.
Kevin Riad is awaiting the trial of the two charges in freedom. He pleaded not guilty to the two charges equivalent to our manslaughter while driving a motor vehicle (Art. 302 of the Brazilian Traffic Code CTB). The case is curious not only because it is the first in which the owner of a Tesla is accused of murder while using the autopilot, but because when we make a parallel with our legislation, there is no specification for deaths in accidents with assistant driving or autonomous driving.
Article 302 of the CTB has increases (cause of increased penalty) in cases of unlicensed drivers, death in the crosswalk or sidewalk, without providing assistance, during the exercise of the profession and under the influence of alcohol or other psychoactive substance that determines dependency. The aggravating factors, in addition to including these points mentioned, are the use of vehicles without a license plate and vehicles with irregular modifications. Therefore, governments around the world need to update their traffic laws to meet the autonomous driving situation. THE Tesla instructs drivers to always keep their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention to the road when using the Autopilott. But it is the government’s role to prepare for situations such as fatal accidents when using autonomous systems, since keeping not following the manufacturer’s standards is a negligence with traffic safety.
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