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Two Men Killed When ‘Driverless’ Tesla Crashed Into A Tree

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The all new Tesla Model 3 photographed at a dead gas station | Two Men Killed When ‘Driverless’ Tesla Crashed Into A Tree | Two Men Killed When ‘Driverless’ Tesla Crashed Into A Tree

Two people died Saturday night when a Tesla crashed into a tree north of Houston and caught fire immediately after.  Authorities believed that at the time of the crash, there was no one in the driver’s seat. 

RELATED: Elon Musk Comes Up with Idea of Installing Games into Tesla Cars

Initial Reports

Initial police reports said that one of the two passengers sat in the front passenger seat while the other was in the back seat of the Tesla.

According to Harris County Constable Mark Herman, the vehicle traveled at high speed along a curve before the Tesla crashed into a tree around 11:25 pm. “Our preliminary investigation is determining—but it’s not complete yet—that there was no one at the wheel of that vehicle. We’re almost 99.9% sure,” the constable said.

Emergency responders needed four hours to put out the fire that engulfed the vehicle after crashing. In addition, they required over 32,000 gallons of water to put out the fire.

Electric cars like Tesla’s use high-voltage batteries. These can reignite after sustaining damage, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Authorities are still investigating the case. In particular, they are trying to determine if the passenger airbag deployed.

Also, investigators are checking if the advanced driver-assistance system was active at the moment of the crash. Tesla and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have yet to respond to the incident. 

Tesla Crashed Despite Autopilot

Tesla’s advanced driver-assistance system, also known as Autopilot, is one of the company’s key features when touting their Tesla cars.

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Previously, the electric vehicle maker said driving with the Autopilot system engaged is safer than doing so without it. However, the company still reminds drivers to pay attention to the road when engaging the autopilot system.

They should also remain on alert to take back control of the vehicle during instances. Recently, Tesla began rolling out an upgraded suite of assistance features on a limited basis, which they termed “full self-driving.”

“Autopilot and full self-driving capability are intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any moment,” Tesla says on its website, noting that the features don’t make the vehicle autonomous.

Some safety advocates criticized Tesla for not doing enough to discourage drivers from abusing the system. Some drivers depend too much on the self-driving features, or use them in situations they’re not suited for. Many called out Tesla’s wordings in its list of features. Terms such as “Autopilot” and “full self-driving”  often give drivers the wrong idea about how Tesla cars work.

Unnecessary Risks to The Public

Jason Levine, executive director of Center for Auto Safety, remains critical of Tesla. “They are intentionally, foreseeably creating unnecessary risks to the public,” he said.

However, Tesla responded to federal officials by saying that it doesn’t need to limit where drivers are allowed to use its assistance system. But only because the vehicle is under the driver’s control.

At present, the NHTSA does not have any rules on how companies should monitor driver engagement. The NTSB, the agency in charge of issuing safety recommendations, said that the NHTSA shouldn’t overlook that, as it puts people at risk.

NHTSA replied it will evaluate its next steps to ensure the safety of EV drivers. In fact, Autopilot is under heightened scrutiny for the last few months. The agency already launched more than two dozen advanced driver-assistance-related investigations in Tesla-involved crashes.

Watch the Bloomberg Markets And Finances video reporting that a Tesla with ‘no one’ driving crashes, killing two:

Who is to blame for the recent Tesla crash in Houston?

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Who do you think is at fault for the tragic car accident involving a Tesla? Do you blame the vehicle, or do you blame the passengers for this? Let us know what you think. Share your comments below!

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39 Comments

39 Comments

  • mary clark says:

    Not responsible thing to do

  • Larry Shaw says:

    Amen , but sure enough the families will go after the Tesla people for the stupidity of the two in the Tesla Car . Simply Idiotic ! And there should be o recourse for the stupidity of going against the common sense! RS

  • john neu says:

    telsa is because of not having the system to correct it self and have the auto system that locks the brakes when sensors show a possible collision

  • John Flores says:

    Ultimately, the operator is responsible. Any time you turn control of your life over to tech, your responsible for the outcome. Technology is a wonderful thing but it must be used re4sponsibly.

  • John says:

    It remains to be seen if there was a driver in the car that fled the scene.

  • Anne says:

    The ultimate responsibility for safe operation of the vehicle lies with the operator unless it is a direct manufacturing defect. In this case, the performance of the car was not a defect but a natural limitation of the cars mechanical ability which is spelled out in the manufacture’s instructions. The driver was clearly negligent.

  • C. Lambert says:

    The both operators will absolutely be at fault. They have a responsibility to control of the vehicle at all times.

  • Bill says:

    What if, the driver wanted to see if car would drive with no one in the drivers seat, so he climbed to the rear. But if his foot kicked the steering wheel, would the car follow the new direction?

  • M. Bush says:

    Both are responsible, the person that thought nothing would go wrong and the company that let them think it was safe to do so!

  • Maribel says:

    I think driver should be always responsible, no matters what kind of car it is.

  • Steve says:

    That’s the dumbest crap , if people are driving then drive doing anything else is just dumb. It’s not a robot car. It assisted in driving Darwin when’s again

  • scott says:

    It is clear the tech is not perfect. Anyone who buys the car and modifies it to be able to go completely autonomous is at fault.

    On the other hand, Tesla at this point, should make sure that they are NOT modifiable for full-autonomous driving until the tech is perfected.

    These cars use white lines, guard rails etc as guide points… while many roads don’t have either and even roads that do have missing sections, damaged sections and more. A few more years of innovation before full self-driving will be worthy of the populous. IMHO

  • Anonymous says:

    You are told you are responsible for the safe operation of your vehicle from the time you are old enough to drive. I think the driver was drinking and thought if he wasn’t driving he couldn’t get in trouble. Oh well lesson learned

  • OPINIONATED says:

    AUTO PILOT CAN NOT SEE EVERYTHING AROUND AND CAN NOT BE CERTAIN OF UNEXPECTED HAPPENINGS WON’T HAPPEN. STUPIDITY IN THOUGHT AND IN ACTION TO PRODUCE FOR A MONETARY GAIN. INSURERS AND MORE WILL PAY A PRICE FOR THIS.

  • Mike says:

    Stupid Poll…! Seems like everything and everyone is after a buck nowadays! Even how this poll was put forth. As humans, grow the hell up and take responsibility for your own actions!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    See ya all in the next civil war! And you idiots are worried about Tesla!

  • Chisel head says:

    Who the fuck gets in a car without a driver!? Liberal Americans at their worst, dumb ass

  • David says:

    I remember when cruise control was new, people thought that was auto pilot. Stupid is as stupid does. But, this technology will fail and there will be more accidents, deaths etc. People are so lazy, just drive your car yourself.

  • Pik says:

    Darwin Award?

  • PSIBBC says:

    What comes to my mind is what about the driverless semis being tested? According to an article on CBSNEWS last summer Starsky Robotics tested a truck with no one onboard on a Florida Turnpike. Imagine the destruction and loss of life if a 35,000 pound semi’s autonomous systems fail. I find the thought of that very scary. It’s bad enough worrying about incompetent drivers and drivers under the influence without adding vehicles who have autonomous systems to the mix. Common sense seems to be in very short supply when it comes to drivers.

  • Scott says:

    What a shame.

  • Jon Tommison says:

    Two drunks got into a Tesla, said “Home James” and expected the car to drive them home.
    Surprise, it took them to the big home in the sky.
    If they’re lucky, perhaps St. Peter will open the pearly gates.

  • William Spula says:

    The driver is responsible for his own car, Tesla has said time and again that someone should be behind the wheel at all times, to take control at a moment’s notice. Having someone in the passenger seat and one in the rear was totally unacceptable, as though the two had a death wish!

  • Thomas Dickinson says:

    The article says, “they required over 32,000 gallons of water to put out the fire”
    Think about that. That is like 6 semi-trailers full of water.
    Those batteries burn really hot and are very difficult to put out if they do ignite.
    It’d be real unhandy if one of those crashed into a busy business or into a house.

  • Sandra says:

    I blame the Progressive left political pundits and Tesla for pushing technology that will not be ready for a number of years. Even solar and wind power has a long way to go before it will have an edge in our lives. We currently have cleaner air and water than we had over fifty years ago and there is a movement to dictate our lives that we are supposed to be in charge of. We elect representatives to Congress, not dictators.

  • Dennis R Bishop says:

    #1 Tesla should have a sensor in the driver’s seat so auto pilot will not work with no body in the driver’s seat #2 any body stupid enough to not sit in the driver’s seat no matter what option of autonomous system Is in any Vehicle should not be allowed to get in any motor vehicle.

  • Juarez Goodrich says:

    What is the purpose of a self driven vehicle. Are we paying for misleading words or are we paying for a vehicle that drives itself. Personally, I do not trust technology. Too many flaws. But then, why put a false clay on the market. Lawsuits are inevitable.

  • Joseph Kinge says:

    Don’t know what kind of dopes depend on mechanics with their lives, but their families will become rich. Just like the families of those criminals who are shot committing crimes.

  • InMyHumbleOpinion says:

    Tesla is liable because they warranted that the driverless option was safeand ready for prime time, the “driver” was negligible because he should not have trusted the technical innovation to the extent he did. He evidently overcame his fear to the extent he was no longer vigiliant and it cost him and the other passenger their lives.

  • sherril henderson says:

    How often does your computer have a glitch or something. I ‘am not for trusting my life to a computer driving my car.

  • Anonymous says:

    Pretty soon we wont even have to learn to tie our own shoes No wonder we keep getting dumber and have no common sence any more

  • Anonymous says:

    All technology is mot good tech A huge responsibility comes along with using our new tech or NOT to iUSE it Alot it it should be scapped from the very start as a NO GO

  • Anonymous says:

    Just say NO TO WHAT YOU DONT WANT LIKE SMART PHONES LOOK AT WHERE WE ARE NOW Our lives are being controlled by them I knew they were bad and told my hubby i didnt want one That was 10 years ago Well i got one anyway and wish i never had Im gonna trash this real Fing SOON!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Giving up utube sucks but I will LIVE

  • Anonymous says:

    Also the term of AUTO PILATE needs to be defined correctly to cosumers I have an auto pilot on my boat but we still have to have a person at the helm ALWAYS 24/7 even out 75 miles from shore

  • Chris says:

    I’ve said it many times, driverless vehicles are an INSANELY STUPID idea. Not only is there the possibility of a programming malfunction causing mayhem and chaos resulting in
    traffic accidents, just think what the ramifications would be when someone hacks into “the network” and purposely causes destruction.
    Technology is cool and has its place, just NOT in driverless vehicles.

  • Rich Schaefer says:

    There should be a sensor in the seat of the driver’s seat that senses if the driver is seated. If not, the vehicle should not be engaged.

  • Anonymous says:

    What a DA

  • John Connor says:

    These idiots trusted the tech, with their lives, which they lost. Now their families will rake in the coin. I blame the driver who moved into the passenger or rear seat. I would never trust tech, it always glitches! However Tesla’s wording and inability to prevent driving if the drivers seat isn’t occupied will cost them dearly. Hopefully all this, and the 32K gallons of water used, combined, will cause them to change how their cars work. Nobody but the rich want driverless cars, because they don’t want to pay someone to drive them! Stupid!

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