WA Tesla Kills One: Manslaughter Charge for Autopilot Attack on Motorcycle

The original sin. A Tesla S killed a cyclist when it was first released, which allegedly prompted Elon Musk to promise he would make an Autopilot to end all deaths. Instead, after a decade of rising fatal crashes, Tesla with Autopilot are now the unmistakable cause of more death than without.

A 56-year-old Snohomish man had set his Tesla Model S on Autopilot and was looking at his cellphone on Friday when he struck and killed a motorcyclist in front of him in Monroe, court records show.

Are motorcyclists being trained to avoid being killed by a Tesla behind them?

Police say in this case the use of Autopilot is to be charged as vehicular manslaughter.

The trooper cited the driver’s “inattention to driving, while on autopilot mode, and the distraction of the cell phone while moving forward,” and trusting “the machine to drive for him” as probable cause for a charge of vehicular manslaughter, according to the affidavit.

We could have all seen this predictable end back in 2016, which is why back then I described Tesla as the modern Titanic. Despite my warnings, far too many people fell into the fraud.

Five years ago this week [in 2019], Elon Musk stood on stage at Tesla’s Autonomy Week and told the crowd that his company would deliver fully autonomous robotaxis by the following year. “I feel very confident,” he said. “Mark my words.”

2020 was a long time ago in technology terms. Arguably Tesla has only gotten worse since then.

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