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NTSB Reports on Deadly Tesla ‘Autopilot’ Crash

A semi-autonomous Tesla Model S that crashed in Florida last year, killing its driver, had “operational limits” that played a major role in the accident, federal investigators said. The main shortcomings of Tesla’s semi-autonomous technology involved the vehicle’s inability to monitor and ensure driver attention, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found. Joshua Brown, 40, of Canton, Ohio, died when his semi-autonomous Tesla car failed to apply its brakes as a tractor-trailer turned left in front of it. The May 7 crash occurred on a divided highway in Williston, Florida. Mr. Brown’s death was the first death to occur in a self-driving ... Read More

CPSC’s product-safety database survives budget cuts, goes online

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s new public database of safety information, part of the www.saferproducts.gov website, offers American consumers for the first time ever a world of valuable safety information at their fingertips. The database went online earlier March 11, but its future appeared bleak when budgets battles raging on Capitol Hill threatened to take the website down before it had a chance to prove its worth. Fortunately, the database was taken off the chopping block and the project remains safe for now. Developed at a cost of $3 million, this new database offers American consumers an easier way ... Read More

Florida bill lets automakers off hook, burdens taxpayers

Last month, the Florida State Senate approved a bill that makes it much more difficult for people harmed by automotive defects to hold carmakers responsible for their injuries. The legislation, which the St. Petersburg Times considers to be the latest attack in the “interminable war” waged by Republican legislators against trial lawyers, will actually hurt Floridians by removing liability for car crash victims from carmakers and placing it on the shoulders of Florida taxpayers. The Crashworthiness Doctrine mandates that because vehicular crashes are inevitable, automakers must be held to a duty to keep the safety of crash victims in mind ... Read More