The Project’s Waleed Aly has slammed Tesla cars on air, after two men died when a Tesla vehicle, which was believed to be operating without anyone in the driver's seat, crashed into a tree in Texas, authorities said.
"There was no one in the driver's seat," Cinthya Umanzor of the Harris County Constable Precinct 4 said.
The 2019 Tesla Model S was travelling at a high rate of speed when it failed to negotiate a curve and went off the roadway, crashing into a tree and bursting into flames, local television station KHOU-TV said.
In a segment on The Project last night, the hosts debated the complexities of driverless cars.
“You’re scared. You’re scared to death of them, aren’t you?” Carrie Bickmore asked Waleed.
“I’m not a fan,” he responded.
“What is it about it that it is unnerving for you?” Carrie asked.
“I feel if you put that much trust in technology it’s great, until it goes bad and something will happen. So if it’s connected to some internet-based thing and someone hacks that…,” Waleed said.
Kate Langbroek interjected, finishing his sentence saying: “And causes a mass crash?”
“Even if that story when they said that the car was listening, well, I’ve joined those dots myself, obviously the car was listening,” Kate said.
Carrie responded to Kate, saying: “You joined the dots that Elon Musk and Grimes were sitting at home listening and I’m not sure they were.”
Kate then joked about Elon Musk and Grimes’ son’s name, AE A-XII, saying: “With their child, QW ER TY keyboard, and they were all listening and Elon said ‘there’s something wrong with that car, tell them to relax,’ but I’m not relaxed.”
The accident in Texas comes amid growing scrutiny over Tesla's semi-automated driving system following recent accidents and as it is preparing to launch its updated "full self-driving" software to more customers.
The US car safety agency said in March it has opened 27 investigations into crashes of Tesla vehicles; at least three of the crashes occurred recently.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in January that he expects huge profits from its full self-driving software, saying he is "highly confident the car will be able to drive itself with reliability in excess of human this year".
The self-driving technology must overcome safety and regulatory hurdles to achieve commercial success.
With extra reporting by AAP
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