Of course, we can’t ignore the human component in these situation; had the drivers been paying attention, they likely would have realised the beginning of a dangerous situation and been able to make evasive manoeuvres to prevent a crash. After all, drivers are technically supposed to have their hands on the wheel and their butts in a seat in order to engage Tesla’s driver-assist software.
But as Raj Rajkumar, an electrical and computer engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University who studies automated vehicles, told CBS News: “It’s very easy to bypass the steering pressure thing. It’s been going on since 2014. We have been discussing this for a long time now.” We at Jalopnik covered all sorts of ways a driver could add steering wheel pressure without actually having their hands on the wheel. And that pressure sensor was only added after Tesla was called out for it; the company initially avoided installing one to save money.