Autopilot crash highlights need for ADAS regulation—and the challenges involved

Autopilot’s limitations were a key factor in the death of Walter Huang. The NTSB has called on NHTSA to take steps to regulate, which could shape future laws. By Xavier Boucherat

In February 2020, following nearly two years of investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined a probable cause for the 2018 California Tesla Model X crash, in which driver Walter Huang was killed when his Autopilot-enabled vehicle steered into a concrete barrier. Driver distraction was listed among the contributing factors: records suggest that Huang, a keen gamer and game developer, was very likely playing a game on his smartphone at the time of the incident.

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