Tesla Crash Raises Questions About Autopilot and Driver Inattention

Motorcyclist Killed After Tesla Driver Admits to Using Autopilot and Phone

A fatal motorcycle accident near Seattle has reignited concerns about Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assistance system and driver inattention. The crash occurred on Friday afternoon in a suburb northeast of Seattle.

Driver Admits to Using Autopilot and Phone

The driver of the Tesla, a 2022 Model S, told police he was using Autopilot at the time of the crash. According to a Washington State Patrol trooper’s report, the driver also admitted to looking at his phone while the car was in motion.

Police Report Details Sequence of Events

The trooper’s report describes the driver’s account of the accident: “The next thing he knew there was a bang and the vehicle lurched forward as it accelerated and collided with the motorcycle in front of him.”

Driver Arrested for Vehicular Homicide

The 56-year-old driver was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide. The affidavit cites “admitted inattention to driving, while on Autopilot mode, and the distraction of the cell phone while moving forward, putting trust in the machine to drive for him” as justification for the arrest.

Investigation Underway to Verify Autopilot Use

While the driver claims to have been using Autopilot, authorities haven’t yet independently confirmed this detail. “We have not gotten that far yet. It’s very early stages of the investigation,” stated Washington State Patrol Captain Deion Glover.

Crash Follows Tesla Recall for Autopilot Attention System

This fatal accident comes just four months after U.S. auto safety regulators pressured Tesla to recall over 2 million vehicles. The recall addressed a problem with the system designed to ensure drivers using Autopilot remain attentive to the road.