Tesla, for better or worse, is pushing mass acceptance of autonomous driving technology with its Autopilot system. While it isn't perfect, for the most part it works as advertised, even if the term Autopilot isn't very clear. That said, when accidents happen, it's easy to blame technology rather than your own failings, just like a Minnesota driver did this past weekend. He later recanted his statement, even thanking Tesla for building a car that saved his life.

After his Tesla Model S accelerated off the road and ended up upside down in a marsh, owner David Clark pointed his finger at Tesla's Autopilot. According to an email sent to Elon Musk and reprinted on Twitter (see below), Clark initially put all the blame on the system, saying that the car sped up and left the road after Autopilot was set. He later recanted that, saying he was merely rattled after the accident. Clark admitted that he actually disengaged Autopilot by pressing the accelerator just before the crash.



Maybe Clark was indeed rattled, because Tesla was always going to investigate this accident to determine whether or not the system was activated. He isn't the first and likely won't be the last to use Autopilot as a scapegoat.

Autopilot is a Level 2 system, meaning the driver is always responsible, even if the system is active. Until technology improves, a driver should always pay attention and be ready to take control.

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