California based electric car producer, Tesla Motors Inc, has attracted some bad publicity recently as a result of a few autopilot crashes. There has been a number of incidents involving Tesla vehicles crashing while in autopilot mode, resulting in the death of 1 driver (a 40-year-old man from Ohio.) The fatality occurred after a Tesla Model S EV crashed into a truck while it was in autopilot mode. This particular incident took place in the state of Florida on the 07/05/2016.
A preliminary report, recently released by the National Transportation Safety Board found that the driver was speeding. The vehicle was found to be almost 10 MPH above the speed limit, travelling at 74 MPH in a 65 MPH zone. Tesla’s autopilot system doesn’t control the speed of the car (it can’t prevent the driver from speeding.)
According to an online survey carried out by the Boston Consulting Group in mid-July 2016, 48% of Americans surveyed said that they would still be willing to try a self-driving car. This figure is only slightly down from a similar survey back in August 2015. The recent survey carried out by Boston Consulting Group used a sample size of around 1,500 consumers (from the USA, Germany and China).
An article published on The Times of India gave more details on the findings of another related survey. It reads “An online survey of more than 1,500 Americans in mid-July by AlixPartners found that overall consumer interest in self-driving dropped about three percentage points after news of the May 7 Tesla crash was reported on June 30, according to results released on Friday. But awareness of self-driving technology rose about 10 percentage points, to 81-85% from 71-76% in a similar Alix survey conducted just six weeks earlier, before news of the crash.”
The data shows that the public still supports self-driving vehicle technology,such as the one used by Tesla Motors Inc, despite the incidents. Tesla Motors Inc stock is currently valued at $234.79 per share (as trading stopped on the 29/07/2016.)