NTSB: Autopilot system repeatedly warned driver before fatal Tesla Model S crash

A reminder that so far, cars cannot drive themselves

The National Transportation Safety Board has weighed in on a fatal crash the involved Tesla’s “Autopilot” driver-assist system. The NTSB says that the Autopilot tech was not to blame in the crash, which killed 40-year-old Joshua Brown, who was letting his Model S go down the road by itself in Florida last year when a large truck turned in front of it. It was the first known fatal crash that took place while Tesla’s Autopilot was in use.

Crash scene investigators said the Autopilot’s camera system could not distinguish the white truck against the bright sky, and the Model S never activated its brakes before slamming into the truck at 74 miles an hour, killing Brown, who was an unabashed fan of both his Tesla electric car and the Autopilot system. He posted numerous videos on YouTube of the car driving itself in traffic while he was in the driver’s seat.

The NTSB said the Autopilot system was not defective and it actually warned Brown to take the wheel seven times in the minutes leading up to the impact, but Brown failed to do so each time, letting the car drive itself for most of the 41 minutes it was on the road. A lawyer also said the NTSB confirmed that Brown was NOT watching a Harry Potter movie at any time while in the car, which had been a persistent internet rumor. More on the fatal Tesla crash and the NTSB investigation.

Do what you love and get paid

Unemployment rates are at historic lows, but if you’re looking for a job, or maybe looking to change jobs, Google is here to help. They announced the Google for Jobs initiative earlier this year at I-O, and now they’ve rolled out the tech for employers and website owners.

No surprise, the tools include a dose of Google’s AI tech, and if you’re a job seeker, you can search for employment using Google, which will also scour services like LinkedIn, Monster, WayUp and others to find you that dream job. Job seekers can set parameters like specific industries, locations, employers, get notifications and so on. And if you find a listing that looks good, Google will even help you apply for the position. Get started using Google’s new job search tools.

Wake us in three months

It’s almost JULY, so of course, we’re counting the days and weeks and MONTHS until the big iPhone 8 reveal, and the folks over at ConceptsiPhone on YouTube have yet another new render to tease us with. Apple is probably actually building the new phones by now, and given what hints we’ve all seen so far, a render by Obshansky Vladimir could be close to what we’ll actually see come September.

Of note, the dual-lens camera is now stacked vertically, the screen covers most – but not all -of the front of the phone, and there is the usual speculation about wireless charging, AR and VR capability, a new CPU and IP67 water resistance. Looks pretty nice to us, but of course, we won’t really know how close to the mark it is until Tim Cook walks out on stage with a real one in his mitts. Just three short months to go. It could be a long summer. Watch the entire ConceptsIphone YouTube video.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.


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