Tesla Autopilot Safety issues continue as EV slams into another car

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It seems the problems concerning Elon Musk's Tesla vehicles are not yet over as more news of collisions involving a Tesla electric vehicle surface, fueling concerns about the EV system's safety features.

According to Forbes, a Tesla Model S crashed earlier this month in a horrific highway accident in Norway. According to the owner, a vehicle swerved in front of the Tesla Model S, and when it switched lanes, the EV slammed into a stalled vehicle that was apparently in front of it.

The Tesla vehicle, which was on autopilot, failed to veer away from its lane, prompting it to crash hard into the vehicle in front. The Model S was doing approximately 85 to 90 kph.

The new incident has once more put the spotlight on the effectivity of Tesla's autopilot features. Safety concerns have been plaguing Musk's company recently.

In fact, Tesla recently agreed on a $13 million settlement with a former employee who was struck by the Model S while working. The vehicle was said to be running on autopilot. The EV brand was also blamed by the family of Walter Huang, who died last year after crashing his Tesla Model X along Highway 101 in Mountain View, California.

For the latest incident in Norway, however, driver Peder Hulthin actually credited the company's autopilot as the factor which saved his life. Hulthin got away from the accident with only a few scratches.

"The car has without a doubt saved my life and Tesla's engineering has done its job," he said in an interview.

Forbes analyzed the accident and said drivers should never rely on the safety and performance of their vehicle on autopilot. In the case of the Model S, considered to be a Level 2 semi-autonomous driving car, the vehicle operates on a two-driver basis - the autopilot and the human driver.

So for incidents where other vehicles swerve in and out of lanes, drivers should be ready for instances when there could be other cars a driver is not fully aware of especially when driving at top speed. The Tesla manual actually says that the EV cars might not be able to react instantly during such incidents.

However, the report also questioned why the emergency braking system did not engage at the time when it was apparent that there was a stalled vehicle ahead. This is still something that Tesla should address.

At any rate, the company has been introducing new safety features in Tesla cars. The company just introduced safety features which aim to stop drivers from drifting out of their respective lane. Lane Departure Avoidance and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance were designed to address common causes of accidents even when drivers don't have their Autopilot on.

This article was first published in IBTimes US. Permission required for reproduction.