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22 Apr, 2023
1 min time to read

On Friday, Tesla obtained a win when a California jury concluded that the automaker was not responsible for a 2019 collision that implicated its sophisticated driver assistance system, called Autopilot.

In 2020, Justine Hsu, a resident of Los Angeles, sued Tesla for negligence, fraud, and breach of contract, alleging that her Tesla Model S had caused her injuries due to a fault in the Autopilot system. According to the lawsuit, Hsu had engaged the Autopilot system while driving on a city street, and the vehicle collided with a median, fracturing her jaw and causing nerve damage due to the airbags deploying.

The case went to trial, and the jury determined that Tesla was not at fault and awarded no damages to Hsu. The court filing stated that Tesla had properly warned users not to use the Autopilot system on city streets, which Hsu had ignored. The verdict appears to be the first involving Autopilot to go to trial.

This ruling provides a win for Tesla, as the company faces increased scrutiny from federal and state regulators over its Autopilot system and upgraded versions, Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving software. Tesla vehicles come standard with the driver-assistance system Autopilot, which includes features such as adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking. For $6,000, owners can upgrade to Enhanced Autopilot, which includes several other features such as auto lane change and summon.

For an additional $15,000, owners can buy Full Self-Driving, or FSD, which includes a number of automated driving features such as Navigate on Autopilot, an active guidance system that navigates a car from a highway on-ramp to off-ramp, including interchanges and making lane changes.

FSD also includes the parking feature Summon, which allows the car to park itself in tight spaces, and it is supposed to handle steering on city streets, recognize and react to traffic lights and stop signs. However, the system still requires the driver to be ready to take control at all times, as Tesla vehicles are not yet self-driving.