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Articles Tagged with self-driving cars

matthew-hamilton-135738-copy-300x200On March 23, a San Mateo resident, Wei Huang, 38, passed away after his Tesla Model X collided with a median on Highway 101. The initial collision caused a three-vehicle crash with a Mazda and Audi. The Tesla sustained a significant amount of damage and the exposed lithium ion battery caught fire. In order to combat the fire, local firefighters used the available water source. They also contacted the Palo Alto-based Tesla, and engineers disassembled a part of the car battery on the interstate. The engine was closely monitored afterward since the batteries can reignite for up to 24 hours after cooling.

Accident Leads to Investigation

Following the fatal crash, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board sent two investigators to review the accident. The NTSB is interested in why the crash occurred, why the battery caught fire, and the procedures used to contain the situation afterward. It is unclear, as of now, whether Tesla’s Autopilot feature was in control of the vehicle at the time or whether Huang was driving.

moher9rdrgy-arkady-lifshits-300x198Self-driving cars are being tested across the country and may soon become a more common way to get around town. Self-driving Uber vehicles, however, will no longer be allowed on San Francisco streets, at least for the time-being. An ongoing battle between Uber and California regulators has finally resulted in a ban on permits to Uber self-driving vehicles. The ban comes after complaints from cyclists and others that these vehicles have been breaking the law and causing unsafe conditions on the road.

Concerns Over Safety

Self-driving Uber cars just showed recently up on the streets and already there are serious safety concerns. Although these vehicles have drivers aboard, there are fears that the cars are not properly adhering to traffic laws. The most important worry is that the vehicles do not make legal right turns. Vehicles are supposed to merge into the right lane to accommodate bicyclists safely. However, Uber technology may not handle turns in that manner. Instead, the vehicles make a right turn without merging, cutting off cyclists. This could cause accidents and major injuries for bike riders. Recently, a motorist claimed that a self-driving Uber vehicle ran a red light.

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