Tesla's Elon Musk is Called to the Witness Stand in Autopilot Fatality Lawsuit

In March of 2019, Jeremy Banner was driving his Tesla Model 3 when he activated its Autopilot feature. Ten seconds later it crashed into a semi-trailer truck. Mr. Banner didn't survive.
Banner Tesla Model 3 6 photos
Photo: Via ARSTechnica
Banner Tesla Model 3Banner Tesla Model 3Tesla AutopilotTesla AutopilotTesla Autopilot
Now, nearly two years later, Banner's family is pursuing a lawsuit against Tesla, blaming its Autopilot feature for the wreck. Of course, that's not how Tesla sees the accident.

"Shortly following the accident, we informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board that the vehicle’s logs showed that Autopilot was first engaged by the driver just 10 seconds prior to the accident, and then the driver immediately removed his hands from the wheel. Autopilot had not been used at any other time during that drive. We are deeply saddened by this accident and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy.”

Now, the attorneys in the case are calling Elon Musk himself to the witness stand. If he ends up there, it might end up being a historic case that sets a long-term precedent when it comes to driver assistance systems like Autopilot.

This is shaping up to be the very first case to determine who's ultimately at fault when something like this happens. It could also see Musk go up directly against one of his most vocal critics.

Attorneys in the case have also called NHTSA advisor Mary Cummings. She has publicly said that Tesla drivers have died unnecessarily and that Tesla should only let drivers use Autopilot on roads for which it's been designed.

Certainly, nobody wants people to be unsafe behind the wheel regardless of who's at fault. The question for the court will be who holds the majority of the blame. Should Tesla have to limit the features of their products because drivers aren't using them as they're intended? 

Or should individuals be held to blame for misunderstanding the way features are described? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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