US electric car maker Tesla has said that one of its vehicles was under the control of its Autopilot software when it crashed on a California highway two weeks ago, killing the driver.
The disclosure on Friday marks the second confirmation in less than two weeks of a fatal accident involving a car that was effectively driving itself, following the death of a pedestrian who was struck by an Uber vehicle in Arizona.
The accidents are set to become the first serious test of whether regulators have been right to release imperfect versions of driverless car technology on to public roads, even when there are people behind the wheel who are meant to take control in dangerous situations.
Tesla said more lives were being saved by releasing the technology now, with Tesla cars being involved in 3.7 times fewer fatal accidents than others.
The US National Transportation Safety Board said early last week that it was investigating the crash of one of Tesla’s Model X SUVs on Highway 101, the main artery that links San Francisco with Silicon Valley.
Full story at Business Day