Tesla cannot confirm the autopilot was on during fatal crash in china
Tesla cannot confirm the autopilot was on during fatal crash in china. Image credit: Car and Driver.

Gao Jubin is concerned about Tesla's autopilot security issues

Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) said today it has been unable to verify if its Model S car was on Autopilot mode during a fatal crash. Early today, China Central Television (CCTV) reported a man had died in a collision while driving a Tesla Model S back in January.

China’s state broadcaster announced 23-year-old Gao Yaning perished in the crash which took place in the northeastern province of Hebei on January 20. In July, Gao Jubin, the father of the victim, filed a lawsuit against the Chinese dealer who sold him the car.

The suit includes video footage, taken from inside the car, that shows the car maintaining its speed when hitting a road sweeper. Tesla said a May 7 incident was the first known fatality linked to the Autopilot mode. However, the new crash raised the question as to whether how many others may have occurred.

Speaking to CCTV, lawyer Wang Beibei, who represents the Gao family, stated the father was not after money. They only want to let the public know that automatic driving technology has some flaws and people should be aware of them.

Tesla has tried to approach the victim’s father

Elon Musk has tried to contact Gao Jubin without success.
Elon Musk has tried to contact Gao Jubin without success. Image credit: Next Shark.

A Tesla spokesperson issued a statement about the accident. He said the company was sad about the death of its customer’s son, and when they found out about the crash, they immediately contacted the father.

However, he claims Gao Jubin has not provided Tesla with any additional information for the car maker to investigate the cause of the crash. The spokesperson added Elon Musk’s company had repeatedly tried to work with Jubin without success.

Tesla has insisted on the involvement of the customer due to the state of the car. The Model S was physically incapable of transmitting log data to the company’s servers because of damage caused by the collision. Therefore, Tesla has no way of knowing whether or not Autopilot mode was on at the time of the crash.

Tesla is already under federal investigation in the US

So far this year, there have been two accidents involving Tesla’s autopilot. The first incident in May was fatal. It resulted in the death of 40-year-old Joshua Brown while his Tesla Model S was self-driving. The company said it was the first fatal accident involving the auto pilot.

A week later, a Tesla Model X was involved in a collision in Pennsylvania, and again, the Autopilot mode was on. Nobody died, but the driver and his passengers got injured, and the car ended up upside down.

Both cases are currently under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The agency is examining if Tesla’s autopilot software fully complies with the regulations.

Source: The Wall Street Journal