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Another Tesla crashes into a tourist bus in Germany

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【Summary】Another Tesla crashes into a tourist bus in Germany

Original Claire    Oct 10, 2016 6:30 PM PT
Another Tesla crashes into a tourist bus in Germany
Claire Pu

By Claire Pu

It was not long after fatal crashes in China and Florida that another Tesla electric car bumped into a tourist bus on the highway of northern Germany, while the driver was using autopilot in driving.

The accident occurred on Wednesday afternoon of September 28th, 2016m as a Tesla Model S was running outside the northern town of Gudow, about 30 miles east of Hamburg. The 50-year-old driver driving the Tesla from Brandenburg bumped into the back of the Danish tour bus as it was returning to the inside lane after overtaking. The driver was slightly injured, while the 29 people on the bus were unhurt in the crash.

According to German press agency DPA, the driver told the police that he was using autopilot while the accident occurred. And he had not removed his hands from the wheel while the autopilot was activated.

A Tesla spokesperson, however, later said in a statement that "we have spoken to our customer, who confirmed that Autopilot was functioning properly and that his use of Autopilot was unrelated to the accident. We're glad that he's safe."

Then, on Friday, the Ratzeburg police released a second statement, with a title translating to "Correction / Supplement."

The main text of the revised brief reads:

"After matching testimonies of several of the bus passengers, the bus driver had almost completed the overtaking and has already changed again with about 3/4 of the bus on the right lane. At this time, drove a 50-year-old man from Brandenburg with his car Tesla on to the bus. The exact cause of the accident is still unclear. First investigations result was on the driving assistant of Tesla."

The investigation is still underway. Yet global scrutiny on Tesla is gradually growing regarding its autopilot assistant program for would-be driverless automobiles. Early in January, a crash took place in China and killed a 23-year-old young man. This is important to note because it happened when the Tesla Model S that he was driving slammed into a road sweeper on a highway near Handan. The latter is a city about 300 miles south of Beijing, according to the Chinese government news channel CCTV.

And later in May of 2016 in Williston, Florida, a 40-year-old owner of a technology company died in a crash while driving Tesla model S. His car's cameras failed to distinguish the white side of a turning tractor-trailer from a brightly lit sky and didn't automatically activate its brakes, according to government records.

After the fatal crashes, a U.S. Senate committee stepped in and demanded a briefing on the autopilot's role in the accident.

Tesla also updated the software for its autopilot following the deadly incident in Florida. The Silicon Valley automaker said this month it was updating the semi-autonomous driving system with new limits on hands-off driving and other improvements.

Resources from: CNBC, DW.com

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