A jury sided with Tesla recently in a case involving the death of 37-year-old Micah Lee in Califonia in 2019.
Lee was behind the wheel of his Model 3 Tesla when the car suddenly swerved off the highway and into a palm tree where it burst into flames.
The accident killed Lee and severely injured his fiancee and her son.
Jonathan Miller, lawyer for the Lee estate, argued that Tesla’s underlying technology was defective and the company knowingly shipped cars with dangerous bugs.
Tesla’s lawyer Michael Carey argued that the driver is always responsible for maintaining control over the vehicle.
While drivers are expected to have both hands on the wheel at all times, with Auto Pilot turned on it is easy, Miller argued, for drivers to become careless and to trust the software.
While this is undoubtedly a win for Tesla, the company has at least 10 other lawsuits over its Auto Pilot including an accident where a Tesla drove under a truck when the driver’s hands were not on the wheel.
Teslas have been involved in 700 crashes since 2019 with 19 fatalities.
Each accident and lawsuit brings more national attention to the discussion of self-driving cars.
GM-owned Cruise has suspended all of its autonomous car tests after a woman was severely injured in an accident involving a Cruise-owned robotaxi.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is responsible for investigating such accidents and determining the safety of the autonomous features of cars.
The NHTSA defines 6 levels of autonomy from Level 0, which is defined as momentary driver assistance such as auto emergency braking, to Level 5 which is fully autonomous driving where the passengers sit and let the car do all the work.