The United States judicial system launches its first manslaughter charges against AI-assisted driving as it charged Kevin George Aziz Riad, whose Tesla Inc.’s (TSLA) Model S collided with another car causing two fatalities back in 2019. With General Motors Company (GM) and Ford Motors (F) also launching their versions of the driver-assisted autopilot, the verdict can prove significant.
The Los Angeles County DA’s office has charged Riad with two counts of vehicular manslaughter. His red Tesla was on autopilot when it ran a stoplight and collided with a Honda Civic, killing a man and a woman on board. Riad, 27, a limousine driver by profession is on bail at the moment and will have his preliminary hearing on February 23. The families of the deceased are also planning to file separate lawsuits against both Riad and Tesla.
This is one of the many fatalities involving autopilot. In April 2020, an Uber “safety Driver”, Rafaela Vasquez, hit and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, with her Autonomous Uber which had FSD engaged in it. The truck was in the testing phase and Vasques was charged with negligent homicide. In April 2021, another 2019 Model S running in FSD crashed into a tree and went in flames killing its passengers.
Back in August 2021, Elon Musk also agreed that the beta version of FSD or Full-Self Drive was not performing as it should. “FSD Beta 9.2 is actually not great imo, but Autopilot/AI team is rallying to improve as fast as possible. We’re trying to have a single stack for both highway & city streets, but it requires massive NN retraining,” tweeted the CEO who went on to claim that the 9.3 beta was much better.
Following the tests, in October the company announced the 10.2 beta version of the software for a limited number of owners. “Full Self-Driving is in limited early access Beta and must be used with additional caution. It may do the wrong thing and at the worst time, so you must always keep your hands on the wheel and pay extra attention to the road,” said the company.
The automated driving experience is also being offered by GM and Ford who have named it SuperCruise and BlueCruise respectively. The recent lawsuit will make sure that the companies keep the technology as safe as possible.
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