Welcome to the ‘AI is a bad, bad thing’ bandwagon folks. For whatever reason, there’s still plenty of room on board.
I’ve been pounding my fist for years now, telling anyone who will listen that self-driving cars are a terrible idea. If we’re so desperate to automate things, let’s start working on robot chefs or maids instead of robot cars– you know, things that can’t kill us.
If only these Minnesotans had read one of my articles earlier, they would have saved themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars and a trip to the hospital.
David Clark, a Minnesota man, and his four passengers were injured when his Tesla suddenly accelerated while on autopilot and careened off the road.
Clark, 58, of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, had put the electric car into its autopilot feature as they were approaching the intersection of 141st Street and 172nd Avenue in Irving Township, Minnesota.
According to the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office, the 2016 Tesla ended up on its roof with its five occupants sustaining minor injuries. Here’s the account of driver David Clark via the police report:
According to the police report, the Tesla was driving towards an intersection where it would have to either turn left or right. The Google Image result appears to show a marsh on the opposite end of the intersection from the direction Clark was reportedly driving.
Of course, Tesla’s Autopilot is only a Level Two system, meaning the driver of the vehicle is still completely responsible for being aware of the circumstances of the road, with a suite of safety features and warnings in the car simply there to assist and alert the driver.
A Tesla spokesperson released a statement on the accident:
“We are glad the driver and passengers are safe. We are working to establish the facts of the incident and have offered our full cooperation to the local authorities. We have not yet established whether the vehicle’s Autopilot feature was activated, and have no reason to believe that Autopilot, which has been found by NHTSA to reduce accident rates by 40 percent, worked other than as designed.
Every time a driver engages Autopilot, they are reminded of their responsibility to remain engaged and to be prepared to take immediate action at all times, and drivers must acknowledge their responsibility to do so before Autopilot is enabled.”