With one death clearly linked to the semi-autonomous Autopilot system and investigations underway in connection with several other crashes, one fatal, battery-carmaker Tesla has found itself under the microscope.
So has Mobileye, the Israeli tech start-up that has been providing the camera-on-a-chip system used on Tesla Model S and X battery-electric vehicles.
Following the revelation of the first fatal Autopilot crash, Tesla and Mobileye announced they were parting ways, and that separation is growing anything but amicable.
The battery carmaker has said the Tel Aviv-based Mobileye “could not keep pace” with advances in autonomous technology. But Mobileye founder and CEO Amnon Shashua is now firing back in words that almost call out Tesla for being reckless.
The battery carmaker, he declared in an interview with the Reuters news service, has been “pushing the envelope in terms of safety” with its Autopilot system.
The spat marks one of the rare occasions when automakers and their suppliers disagree publicly. But it’s clear that both face significant risk if they were seen as being at fault for the problems with Tesla’s Autopilot system.
The battery-carmaker first released the technology in late 2015 in the form of a wireless software update. And though it stated that Autopilot was not a fully autonomous system, many owners quickly began posting blog reports and Youtube videos showing them driving hands-free for extended periods. Critics contend that Tesla CEO Elon Musk catches some of the blame for “over-hyping” Autopilot’s capabilities.
In July, Tesla revealed that a Model S sedan was involved in a crash in Florida on May 9 that took the life of 40-year-old ex-Navy SEAL Joshua Brown. The carmaker subsequently indicated that several factors appear to have contributed to the crash which occurred when Brown’s Model S struck a tractor trailer that had turned in front of it.
There is some evidence he may have been watching a video on his laptop computer rather than serving as a human backup, as Tesla recommends. Meanwhile, the car’s radar system mistook the truck for an overhead sign while the Mobileye camera, Tesla stated, confused the white trailer for the bright Florida sky.
Read more of the original article at The Detroit Bureau.