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Legal Action Pursued in Fatal China Autopilot Related Car Crash Continues to Put Pressure and Scrutiny on Tesla

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With the controversial autopilot feature active, a 23-year old Gao Yaning crashed into the side of a slow-moving truck in January, ending his life. News of the accident possibly involving the Tesla Autopilot guided driving feature comes in light of numerous other Tesla car crashes, both fatal and non-fatal, but all centered around the presence of the autopilot feature, which has in turn received a great deal of backlash from those who say the feature is currently misleading or simply not ready for the public.
Tesla from Gao Yaning's fatal crash

Father Seeks Compensation, But Tesla Unsure of Autopilot Data

The victim's father, Gao Jubin, is currently pursuing legal action against Tesla for the accident. After reviewing the dash cam video of the accident, the family believes, according to legal documents, "the autopilot program's slow response failed to accurately gauge the road conditions ahead and provide instructions." Tesla has responded saying that due to collision damage, the car was rendered unable to transmit data logs to their servers. Still, Jubin's lawer believes that data can still be extracted from the vehicle. A case also being pressed against the Beijing dealer that sold the car, and Jubin is requesting 10,000 yuan ($1,499) and legal fees from Tesla.

Public Opinion on Self-Driving Car Road Presence Widely Divided

According to a 2014 study be Daniel Howard and Danielle Dai at the University of California - Berkeley, opinions on the current reliability, practicality, and eligibility of self-diving cars on public roads are heavily split. In their study, 46% of participants believed that self-driving cars should operate with normal traffic, 35% supported separate lanes/road networks for autonomous driving and 22% opposed integration or vehicle segregation all together. How self-driving cars will enter the market as a wholly prominent technology, especially considering new developments, legislation, and current events, will presumably be widely seen in the near future.


Sources:
Howard, Daniel, and Danielle Dai. "Public perceptions of self-driving cars: The case of Berkeley, California." Transportation Research Board 93rd Annual Meeting. No. 14-4502. 2014.
"Tesla Autopilot System Under Scrutiny In Fatal China Crash." CBS SF Bay Area. CBS/AP, 15 Sept. 2016. Web. 17 Sept. 2016. 
Goh, Brenda, and Norihiko Shirouzu. "Chinese Man Blames Tesla Autopilot Function for Son's Crash." Reuters. Reuters/Thompson, 15 Sept. 2016. Web. 17 Sept. 2016.
 

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