The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the design and performance of the Tesla Model S vehicle’s “Autopilot” system after announcing the death of a driver. The system was engaged at the time of the crash, but that is only part of the story.
The driver, Joshua D Brown, a 40-year-old technology company owner from Canton, Ohio, was so enamored of his sedan that he nicknamed it “Tessy” and praised the Autopilot’s safety benefits. Brown published videos on Youtube of himself behind the wheel with the system active.
He was killed May 7 in Williston, Florida, when his car’s cameras failed to distinguish the white side of a turning tractor-trailer from a brightly lit sky and didn’t automatically activate the brakes.