Autonomous driving tech causes alarm in China following fatal NIO car accident, but experts say training mitigates risks

Drivers in mainland China are looking at driver-assistance systems with jaundiced eyes following a fatal car accident that has sparked debate about the possible misuse of the technology meant to be a pit stop on the way to fully autonomous driving.

As police continue to investigate the case involving electric carmaker NIO’s Navigation on Pilot (NOP) system, mounting worries about safety could put a dent in electric vehicle (EV) sales despite the accelerated pace of EV adoption in China.

Industry officials and analysts remain unfazed, however, saying better education for drivers could help avoid tragic accidents and offer more time to leading players like Tesla and Shanghai-based NIO to develop next-generation autonomous driving…

The accident that has captured the nation’s attention happened on Aug 12, when a 31-year-old entrepreneur was killed while driving NIO’s ES8 SUV. The accident occurred while the NOP system was turned on, NIO said in a statement.