Authorities in Broward County, Florida are reporting the death of a man whose Tesla Model S crashed on Sunday, February 24th, 2019. The violent description of the accident is once again bringing attention to self-driving vehicles and whether or not they are truly safe to use.
According to police and eyewitness statements, the Tesla Model S was driving at about 80 miles per hour in an area with a posted speed limit of 50 miles per hour. It is not known at this time if the driver, Omar Awan, was intentionally speeding or if the Tesla’s accelerator was out of control. The vehicle spun off the road, hit several trees, and burst into flames.
Several Good Samaritans risked their lives to approach the vehicle and attempted to extract Mr. Awan. However, the Tesla’s automatically retractable door handles did not extend, making it impossible to open the door from the outside. A Tesla representative was quick to explain that the handles could always be opened from the inside, which does not account for what to do in emergency situations such as the crash.
Additionally, when the Model S was being towed away from the crash scene, the ruptured batteries reignited. Secondary combustion has been a persistent problem from Tesla vehicles involved in violent crashes. Circumstances of the crash mimic those seen about one year ago in a similar fatal Tesla accident. When everything is considered, the safety of self-driving vehicles is right to question.
(For more information about this ongoing story, you can click here to view a full article from Business Insider.)
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