First Self-Driving Car Fatality... Tesla Owner Dies In Collision With A Truck

Topic 15149 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
RocketMan's Comment
member avatar

I thought this would be relevant to forum users Tesla driver killed in crash while using car's 'Autopilot'.

It will be interesting to see who gets the blame... the truck driver or the car's computer.

C T.'s Comment
member avatar

Saw this earlier on another site. Only a matter of time before those fancy new automated trucks they're testing gets involved in something worse. I'd say our jobs are pretty safe for now.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

This paragraph was in the article link:

Tesla says that before Autopilot can be used, drivers have to acknowledge that the system is an "assist feature" that requires a driver to keep both hands on the wheel at all times. Drivers are told they need to "maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle" while using the system, and they have to be prepared to take over at any time, the statement said

An assist feature...key point.

Having to manage the systems currently installed in the tractors I drive, they typically mistake inanimate objects like overpasses, large signs, and tunnels as moving obstructions and invoke emergency braking. A serious issue IMO, and potentially more dangerous because it's one more unexpected event we need to be wary of.

Although any loss of life is tragic and sad, the legal precedent that may be established resulting form this accident should be interesting.

Phoenix's Comment
member avatar
they typically mistake inanimate objects like overpasses, large signs, and tunnels as moving obstructions and invoke emergency braking

We had this problem and it was suggested we get the sensitivity of the sensor adjusted. So, off to freightliner we went...technician found a plastic bag lodged in behind the sensor. embarrassed.gifrofl-3.gif Funny, except for the odd collision warning from overhead signs, the sensor rarely invokes the emergency braking system now. But we have a new item added to our pre trip.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

The part about this story that really adds to the controversy is that, from the sounds of it, the truck driver was likely at fault. If I understand it correctly, the truck driver turned in front of the car, and the car went underneath the trailer. In other words, that truck driver didn't have enough time to safely complete the turn, but he went for it anyway, likely assuming the other driver would hit the brakes. I don't know--I wasn't there and the article isn't very clear--but if the truck driver really did turn when he shouldn't have, it's a loss on both sides.

I think the vast majority of collisions could be avoided if people would choose to take driving seriously, drive carefully, and obey the rules of the road. But many people don't take driving seriously at all, even joking with their friends about how crazy their driving is. I wish I could say that truckers drive better, since we're the professionals and have been trained more extensively, but it's no secret that there are still many, many truckers who drive just as badly as the non-commercial drivers.

I think, for obvious reasons that have already been discussed in this thread, that autonomous vehicles are not the answer, for now anyway. At the very least, they need to be much more reliable before being released to the public (yes, even semi-autonomous vehicles).

What we really need is for people to grow up and think of safety first behind the wheel. I think stricter enforcement would be a great place to start. The problem is, if you read those stupid comments at the bottom of articles like the one linked above, you'll find that alot of people have already made up their mind that autonomous vehicles are the way to go. Even though (from what we're told in the article) the car made a mistake, plenty of people are still going to be sticking to their guns since the truck driver will likely be considered "at fault." Even when Google's self driving car had a collision with a bus a while back and was almost certainly at fault, some people still blamed the bus driver.

I don't think self-driving trucks will be out for a while, but I do think they're coming eventually. I just hope it doesn't happen in my lifetime... and I'm still young.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Kevin H.'s Comment
member avatar

I don't really think they can expect to have an "assist feature" that drives the car and expect the driver to always be ready to take over. Yeah, that's how cruise control works. but that's not the same as steering. If you remove the necessity for the driver to keep their eyes on the road at all times, the driver won't always be paying attention. I'd guess that they probably realize this but it's a "CYA" warning.

I think self-driving trucks would be a good idea if it freed people from that kind of labor so they could do other jobs, but the way our system works, it would just make rich people richer and make other people unemployed.

Bill F.'s Comment
member avatar

Truck was traveling west (right to left) in left turn lane, turning left on NE 140th CT. Tesla was traveling east (left to right) in outside lane. According to source; if Tesla had not gone between the trailer wheels, existing safety devices would have prevented serious injuries. Until the windshield actually impacted the trailer neither the car nor the driver had a clue. It was pretty much a 90 degree Tbone. I read reports the truck driver claimed he never saw the Tesla. Google maps shows flat road.


Anchorman's Comment
member avatar

NTSB: Trucker partially to blame in fatal 2016 crash involving Tesla sedan operating autonomously

NTSB concluded the driver of the tractor-trailer involved in the crash failed to yield the right of way to the oncoming Tesla sedan. A post-crash drug test also revealed the truck operator had used marijuana before the crash, according to NTSB’s report.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Wow, there just isn't any good news about either one of the drivers in the wreck or the autopilot system in that car. I guess the moral of that story is that we have a long way to go in so many ways.

Yet another black eye for the trucking industry. Geesh.

Page 1 of 1

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Links On TruckingTruth

example: TruckingTruth Homepage

Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview



Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More