3 crashes, 3 deaths raise questions about Tesla’s Autopilot

Raj Rajkumar, an electrical and computer engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University, said it’s likely that the Tesla in Sunday’s California crash was operating on Autopilot, which has become confused in the past by lane lines. He speculated that the lane line was more visible for the exit ramp, so the car took the ramp because it looked like a freeway lane. He also suggested that the driver might not have been paying close attention.

“No normal human being would not slow down in an exit lane,” he said.

In April, Musk said he expected to start converting the company’s electric cars to fully self-driving vehicles in 2020 to create a network of robotic taxis to compete against Uber and other ride-hailing services.

At the time, experts said the technology isn’t ready and that Tesla’s camera and radar sensors weren’t good enough for a self-driving system. Rajkumar and others say additional crashes have proved that to be true.