Tesla has defeated a lawsuit claiming the company’s Autopilot feature was at fault for a single-car crash in 2019.
As reported by Reuters, a California state court jury determined that Tesla’s driver-assistance feature, known as Autopilot, did not cause a crash that led to the driver receiving nerve damage, a fractured jaw and missing teeth.
The initial lawsuit was issued by Los Angeles resident Justine Hsu, who claimed that her Model S swerved into a curb while on Autopilot. She sued for over $3 million in damages, claiming that the software and Tesla’s airbags were defective.
The EV company denied responsibility for the accident and looked to its software user manual as a defence. Sure enough, the manual advises against the practice of using Autopilot on city streets, which is what Hsu was doing before the crash. No damages were awarded to Hsu, saying the automaker “did not intentionally fail to disclose facts about Autopilot.”
The results of the lawsuit won’t be legally binding in other cases but are expected to be used how to inform lawyers to tackle future incidents involving driver-assisted technology.
Despite winning the case, Tesla’s Autopilot feature still has a stigma surrounding the legitimacy and safety of the software. The company remains under investigation by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for Autopilot collisions involving parked emergency vehicles.
In other Autopilot news, a federal investigation is ongoing after a Model S accident left three passengers dead.
Image credit: Tesla