Tesla engineers say Autopilot fails in cross traffic, but company doesn’t fix it

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Tesla’s Autopilot engineers claim the automaker’s directors on the ground knew it the software was unable to detect and respond to cross traffic, I mean, I didn’t do anything to solve it.

The allegations emerged this week from a civil claim filed against Tesla in connection with a crash in which 50-year-old priest Jeremy Banner died in 2019. Murio was killed when his Tesla Model 3 collided with a tractor-trailer in cross traffic.

The autopilot was activated by Banner 10 seconds before the collision. Neither the driving assistance software nor the banner, apparently, arrived and reacted shortly before the other vehicle.

jeremy banner’s vehicle

The story bears striking resemblance to a 2016 crash in which Joshua Brown died, whose Autopilot activated Tesla Model S failed to detect that an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer was crossing a highway.

As in the case of Banner years later, Brown’s Tesla tore off the top of the vehicle and went under the trailer, killing the 40-year-old man.

Joshua Brown’s Vehicle

Banner’s family, who filed the lawsuit soon after Tesla’s death, made the claim in a court filing last week Tesla had been aware of Autopilot’s inability to handle cross traffic since Brown’s death, and I didn’t do anything to solve it, What was the cause of Banner’s fatal accident?

If it is argued that Tesla should have learned from this 2016 tragedy, I would have improved Autopilot to safely manage cross traffic or disconnects in these situations, which could have saved Banner’s life.

In particular, Tesla knew that Autopilot «It was not fully tested for safety and was not designed to be used on roads with cross traffic or vehicles crossing…». However, Tesla programmed the Autopilot “allowing its use on roads that Tesla knew were not suitable for its use and knew would lead to fatal accidents”, Blame the Banner family.

Hablan Los Ingenieros – Under oath

The testimonies of two Autopilot engineers – Chris Payne and Niklas Gustafsson – are key to the Banner family case. The two announced in 2021, and their announcements were incorporated into the family’s motion to modify their previous demand and file a claim for punitive damages.

According to Gustafsson’s statements in the above presentation, Autopilot launched itself without the ability to detect cross-traffic, something that has to be justified when considering why Tesla decided to drop cross-traffic detection. Was.

According to the presentation, Payne also said that Autopilot was designed to be used only on highways with center dividers because “Taking cross-traffic into account was technically a “very difficult task” for the hardware and software.”

Payne explained that the autopilot is designed to detect the presence of a center divider, and is smart enough to deactivate itself if a center divider is not detected. However, If there is no center separator you can activate and turn on the autopilot and it will continue to operatePayne said in his statement.

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