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Tesla fatal crash case in China: company admits the car in “autopilot” when accident happened

Christina From Gasgoo| February 28,2018

Tesla China news, Tesla autopilot fatal crash, Tesla autonomous driving tech

Shanghai (Gasgoo)- A lawsuit about a fatal crash of Tesla in China has a new progress recently. In front of plentiful evidences, Tesla Motors admitted that the vehicle was under "autopilot" condition when the fatal crash happened, according to local reporters who got information from relevant lawyers. Meanwhile, the automaker stated that the investigation report of the accident is incomplete and it will fully cooperate with the court trial until the accrediting agency delivers final results. 

On January 20, 2016, a Tesla Model S slammed into a road sweeper on a highway near Handan, a city about 300 miles south of Beijing, which caused the driver Gao Yaning's instant death, according to a report by CCTV. Traffic polices identified that Gao Yaning should bear the main liability for this rear-end accident.

Gao Jubin, the owner of the involved Tesla as well as Gao Yaning's father, sued Tesla China sales company in Chaoyang District People's Court of Beijing for his son being killed while the car's automated driver-assist system was operating and asked for RMB 10,000 as compensation. The case was opened in court on September 20, 2016. 

The lawyer for the plaintiff stated that Gao's lawsuit was not about how much compensation he can get, but aimed to warn others that Tesla's "autopilot" system has defectiveness and do not easily try it.

At that time, Tesla said that it had not been able to determine whether "autopilot" function was active when the Handan accident had occurred. 

This is not the unique accident that referred to Tesla's autonomous driving system. On May 17th, 2016, a Tesla Model S plowed into the back of a fire truck on a freeway near Culver City, California which killed the driver. This is also the first-reported fatal accident caused by autonomous driving system in the world.

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