Among the recent technological advances in automobiles, arguably none have received more promise and more controversy than self-driving cars. Automaker Tesla has been at the forefront of automated driving systems, and many incidents have been reported since its implementation regarding accidents caused by drivers relying on the technology instead of their own driving skills. Now, following a fatal crash in California in 2019, a man is facing vehicular manslaughter charges for his involvement in an accident that claimed the lives of two innocent victims.
In 2019, a man driving a Tesla on Autopilot reportedly ran through a red light and collided with another vehicle. Two people were in the car, both of whom were killed because of the accident. Also, a woman in the car with the Tesla driver suffered injuries that were not considered life-threatening, as did the driver himself.
Now, after two years, the man, who was reportedly a limo driver, has been charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter. He is reportedly out on bail awaiting the adjudication of his case. This is far from the only incident reported regarding drivers using automated driving systems that then cause an accident, and authorities want to remind all drivers that they should always pay attention and be ready to react to any potential hazards on the road.
Compensation for victims
This is reportedly the first time that felony charges have been filed against someone who caused an accident by relying on driverless technology, whether in California or elsewhere. The report did state that the surviving family of the deceased brought civil suits against both the alleged at-fault driver and Tesla. Their suits claim Tesla was negligent in selling defective vehicles and that the alleged at-fault driver was negligent in his reliance on the technology. The case in scheduled for a joint trial sometime in mid-2023.