Well it had to happen sooner or later; a Telsa car crashed when it had its autopilot on. It seems that it did not see the white side of the tractor trailer veering left and probably confused it with the brightly lit sky. The car simply failed to apply the brakes.
The company later released a statement saying that cars controlled by the Autopilot had safely traveled 130 million miles to date. This is impressive. It seems that the driver may have been unlucky as the car went straight under the truck, shearing off the windshield of the Telsa car. Had the car impacted the truck in the front or the rear of the truck chances are that the driver would have survived. It is worth noting that Tesla calls the Autopilot software as car-assistance. The projection was that robot assisted cars would be twice as safe as when humans drive, and that was a minimum.
What is bizarre is that despite the numerous warnings that the car gives to the driver the accident still happened. If the driver does not have both hands on the wheel the car will provide visual and auditory signals and if nothing happens the car slows down automatically. And yet the crash occurred.
A lot is riding for Telsa motors as well as for the future of self-assisted cars. Was there a software glitch or did the cameras malfunction. Was the bright lit sky the culprit, fooling the sensors? Was the driver asleep at the wheel. The truck driver said that a movie was playing in the car even after the crash. Telsa denied that this occurred.
An investigation will happen and it is possible that the Autopilot system is not at fault. And yet, already Tesla motors have seen their stock go down. Investors will be watching closely the results of the inquiry. Maybe simply self-assisted cars are not as advanced as we thought.