Tesla settles lawsuit over deadly Autopilot crash

Tesla has reached a settlement in a case concerning a fatal Autopilot accident, just one day prior to the scheduled trial. The state court in San Jose, California published filings for the case, without disclosing the terms of the settlement. The accident occurred in 2018 when an Apple engineer, Huang, was killed as his vehicle veered off a Mountain View highway into a road barrier, traveling at around 71 mph.

The NTSB partly attributed limitations in Tesla’s Autopilot system to the accident. Tesla argued that Huang caused the crash with his unconventional use of the vehicle and its Autopilot features, highlighting that he had been playing a computer game, *Total War: Three Kingdoms*, in rush-hour traffic. In the lawsuit, Huang’s family claimed that the vehicle did not meet Tesla’s safety claims, as he believed it to be safer than a human-operated vehicle.

The family also asserted that the Autopilot system hadn’t been trained to detect barriers where two highways merge, leading it to become confused and causing the 2017 Model X to exit its lane. Many expected Huang’s lawyers to argue that Tesla CEO Elon Musk had been excessively promoting Autopilot as superior to human drivers. Tesla stated that “When used properly, Autopilot reduces your overall workload as a driver.

Each new Tesla vehicle is equipped with multiple external cameras and powerful vision processing to provide an additional layer of safety.” Furthermore, before engaging Autopilot, the driver must agree to ‘keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times’ and to always ‘maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle.’ Subsequently, every time the driver engages Autopilot, they are shown a visual reminder to ‘keep your hands on the wheel.’ The settlement was reached a day before the trial was set to begin, and the terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

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