Tesla Autopilot to be tested in court for first time

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Tesla is set to defend itself for the first time in court against allegations that its Autopilot driver assistance feature led to a death.

The company faces two trials in quick succession, one in California and one in Florida. In both cases, the plaintiffs allege that Autopilot failed to prevent the crashes, which killed two people.

The first, scheduled for mid-September in a California state court, centers around a fatal 2019 accident involving owner Micah Lee’s Model 3. The lawsuit contends that the Autopilot system caused the vehicle to veer off the road, collide with a palm tree, and burst into flames within seconds, resulting in the tragic death of Lee and serious injuries to passengers.

The second trial, set for early October in a Florida state court, addresses a 2019 crash where a Tesla Model 3 drove under an 18-wheeler trailer, leading to the death of owner Stephen Banner.

Tesla has denied liability in both cases, arguing that the drivers were not paying attention to the road and that Autopilot is not a self-driving system.

The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.

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