Deadly Tesla Crash Has Sparked Up the Debate Over Autopilot Technology

Chasity Sharla
· 4 min read
We have all seen the futuristic vehicles in science fiction movies with voice activation and self-driving at high speeds. The reality is that technology is much closer than you could think.
Earlier in April 2021 one such vehicle, a Tesla Model S, ran off the road and struck a tree, killing its two passengers.
takes a closer look into the crash and what these vehicles could mean for the
car insurance

Deadly Tesla crash in Houston, Texas

NBC News
reports that just before midnight on April 3, 2021 a Tesla Model S ran off the road 30 miles north of Houston, Texas, striking a tree and causing the death of its two passengers.
Investigation continues as to the reason the vehicle ran off the road. Preliminary findings of the Harrison County Deputies indicated that nobody was driving the car. The two passengers were found in the passenger seat and rear seat.
Reports from the scene indicate it took the authorities approximately 30,000 gallons of water to extinguish the car as the battery continued to reignite the flames.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, later
that this particular car did not have the autopilot system engaged previous to the crash. In fact, the vehicle apparently did not have the technology required for fully automated driving.
Musk also stated that in order for the automated system to work the road would have to have painted lanes, which this road did not have. Investigation continues to correct any mistakes in programming from the data received from the crash.
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Tesla Model S technology

The vehicle in the crash, a 2019 Tesla Model S, boasted some futuristic designs both inside and out.
Car and Driver
note some of the specs and features including neck-breaking 0-60 speeds, a large infotainment screen, and semi-automation with remote control drive.
Its technology doesn't stop at its entertainment screen and electric motor. The vehicle boasts advanced security and safety features.
Data is recorded and used to improve performance and the car’s software updates automatically. The included automated assist is limited to lane assist, parallel parking, and highway driving assistance.

Insurance for self-driving cars is complicated

So with the light shined on self-driving cars and crashes, Jerry is here to illuminate the difficulties with automated vehicles and insurance coverage.
First, there are those who, with good reason, believe humans should remain under complete control of any device within which humans and their loved ones travel. On the other hand, there are those who see potential in the development of these technologies.
The sad truth is vehicles crash all the time, and according to the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
, 94% of these crashes are due to operator error. Therein lies the argument that eliminating the driver would therefore reduce the amount of operator error incidents and create a safer experience on the road.
Founder Shield
points out that the increased data collection within these technologically advanced vehicles would also reduce the instances of insurance claim fraud due to the overwhelming evidence presented by the vehicle itself. That data would also help investigate crashes for improvement in systems and liability to increase passenger comfort and safety.
However, there is a downside to the increased use of automated equipment. Decreased human control leads to increased computer errors and decreased awareness of surroundings, which in itself can cause more incidents.
With higher technology comes the upfront cost and repair cost of crash damages increases. Road closures, changes, and new signage also pose a problem for these technologically advanced vehicles as roadways are not updated as frequently as necessary for safety.
With the increased cost of the vehicle, repairs and frequent updates require even more coverage from insurance.

Jerry can help!

With the uncertainty of automated vehicles and the continued development of more in the future, every vehicle needs to be covered for every possibility. No matter which side of the autonomous car debate you side with,
can help handle all your insurance needs.
Even as cars and the insurance industry evolves, comparing quotes from multiple companies will always be a great way to save money. Jerry helps find you the most affordable car insurance policy, without subjecting you to tons of spam or hidden fees.

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