The driver of a Tesla Motors Inc. Model S car was killed in Williston, Florida when the Autopilot mode did not detect a semi-tractor trailer turning in front of it, causing the vehicle to drive directly into the truck without braking. Tesla released a statement that the bright white side of the tractor trailer could not be seen against the sunny sky, by either the vehicle or the driver of the vehicle. Since the vehicle did not detect the tractor trailer, it did not automatically apply the brakes to slow the car and avoid the collision. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating 25,000 model S sedans with the Autopilot system. Tesla reports that the crash was unusual and was the first fatality in over 130 million miles of Autopilot use overall. Tesla also emphasized that it requires drivers to accept certain terms regarding the new technology that is the Autopilot system and that it informs drivers to keep their hands on the wheel at all times so as to maintain control and responsbility of the vehicle. Tesla stated it does not recommend full hands-off driving at this time as the technology is still under development.
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