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Tesla’s autopilot in the safety spotlight again

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Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc is gearing up to defend itself against allegations that its Autopilot driver-assistant feature has been linked to fatal accidents, marking a significant legal challenge for the electric vehicle manufacturer.

Tesla is currently facing two trials, with the potential for more on the horizon. The first trial, a civil lawsuit, is scheduled for mid-September in a California state court. This lawsuit claims that Tesla’s Autopilot system led to an accident in which Micah Lee’s Model 3 veered off a highway east of Los Angeles, resulting in his death.

The lawsuit alleges that Tesla knowingly sold a car with defective safety systems. In the 2019 incident, the car was traveling at 65 miles per hour and crashed into a palm tree, resulting in Lee’s death and serious injuries to two other passengers, including an 8-year-old boy.

Second trial

The second trial is scheduled for October in a Florida state court. This case, also from 2019, alleges that Stephen Banner’s Model 3 drove under an 18-wheeler big rig truck, causing the Tesla’s roof to be sheared off and resulting in Banner’s death. According to the lawsuit filed by Banner’s wife, the Autopilot system failed to brake, steer, or take any action to avoid the collision.

Tesla has consistently denied liability in both accidents and has attributed them to driver error. The company has emphasized that there are no fully self-driving cars on the road currently and asserts that the Autopilot feature is safe when monitored by humans. In the Micah Lee case, Tesla also claimed that the driver was under the influence of alcohol.

According to Reuters, these civil proceedings could reveal new evidence about what Elon Musk and Tesla knew regarding the capabilities and limitations of the Autopilot feature.

A victory

In a previous trial in April, Tesla secured a victory, asserting that it had informed drivers that despite the names “Autopilot” and “Full Self-Driving,” the technology requires constant human monitoring.

Legal experts suggest that these upcoming cases hold significant stakes for Tesla. Matthew Wansley, former General Counsel at nuTonomy and currently an Associate Professor of Law at the Cardozo School of Law, believes that if Tesla prevails in these cases, it may lead to more favorable settlements in other cases. Bryant Walker Smith, a law professor at the University of South Carolina, points out that a substantial loss for Tesla, particularly one involving significant damages, could significantly impact the company’s narrative in future legal battles.

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Helicopter carrying Iran’s President Raisi crashes

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A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister crashed on Sunday as it was crossing mountain terrain in heavy fog.

The official said the lives of Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian were “at risk following the helicopter crash”, which happened on the way back from a visit to the border with Azerbaijan in Iran’s northwest.

“We are still hopeful but information coming from the crash site is very concerning,” the official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi takes off, May 19, 2024. Ali Hamed Haghdoust/IRNA/WANA via REUTERS

State TV quoted an official as saying at least one passenger and one crew member had been in contact with rescuers. It also said the helicopter had been found, though Iran’s Red Crescent denied this report.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who holds ultimate power with a final say on foreign policy and Iran’s nuclear programme, sought to reassure Iranians, saying there would be no disruption to state affairs. #iran #trending

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Why Australia is becoming the new home of the Hollywood blockbuster

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Australia’s multimillion-dollar campaign to attract Hollywood productions to its shores appears to be paying off.

The allure of Australia lies not only in its picturesque locations but also in its competitive financial incentives.

The government offers generous rebates and tax breaks to international productions, making it an attractive proposition for filmmakers looking to maximise their budgets.

Despite the recent intake of Hollywood productions down under such as ‘The Fall Guy’ and ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’, Aussie independents are still finding the space to carve their own creative path.

Rob Fantozzi joined the program to discuss the latest in Hollywood, and showcased his own upcoming project – ‘Omerta‘. #featured

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Portal between countries shut down after international flashing

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An international video portal has been forced to shut down after an OnlyFans model reportedly flashed passersby from across the globe.

On this episode of Ahron and Mike Live – Which would you prefer; pay rise or work perks, an international portal closes, the military reveal a submarine stingray and are you on a top or bottom burger bun?

Ticker’s Ahron Young & Mike Loder discuss. #featured #trending

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