Saturday, 2 July 2016

Was the first man to die in a self-driving car watching Harry Potter as his Tesla crashed?

A former Navy SEAL has become the first person to die at the wheel of a self-driving car - and a witness has claimed he was watching a Harry Potter movie when his Tesla collided with a truck while on autopilot.

Joshua Brown, 40, died after his computer-guided Tesla Model S plowed into a tractor trailer on a freeway in Williston, Florida, in May.

Despite the claim, Tesla says it is not possible to play films on the vehicle's touchscreen - however it is possible Brown was using another device.

The driver of the truck, Frank Baressi, said the Tesla driver was 'playing Harry Potter on the TV screen' at the time of the crash. 

'It was still playing when he died and snapped a telephone pole a quarter mile down the road,' Baressi, 62, said. 
'He went so fast through my trailer I didn't see him,' he added.

Baressi says he only heard the movie in the aftermath of the crash - and police did not mention the driver being distracted by a film in any of their reports. 

Tesla said its autopilot system failed to detect the truck because its white color was similar to that of the bright sky, adding that the driver also made no attempt to hit the brakes.  

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating.
Preliminary reports suggest Baressi's truck left in front of Brown's Tesla at an intersection of a divided highway where there was no traffic light, officials said.

Daily Mail

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