AMERICA’S National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating the fatal crash in May of a Tesla Model S electric car.

Normally such an accident, tragic though it is for the friends and family of the victim, would not warrant a high-level inquiry of this sort. In the case in question, though, the car was operating on Autopilot.

That is the name Tesla, an electric-vehicle-maker based in California, has chosen for its “autonomous-driving mode”, in which the vehicle itself, via sensors and computers, lifts from the person behind the wheel much of the burden of controlling the car.

Whatever the NHTSA determines to be the cause, the accident makes plain that self-driving cars still have a long way to go before they are ready for routine use.

Read more: Motoring with the Sims | The Economist

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Published by Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future. He lives in London with a single android - a temperamental vacuum cleaner - but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

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Motoring with the Sims | The Economist

by Mike Rawson time to read: 1 min
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