California jury hands Tesla win in Autopilot crash case
Tesla has won a decisive victory in what appears to be the first trial related to a crash involving its Autopilot feature. The trial focused on a lawsuit by Justine Hsu, a resident of Los Angeles, who alleged that her Tesla Model S swerved into a curb while on Autopilot and then an airbag was deployed so violently that it caused extensive injuries. Hsu sought more than $3 million in damages from Tesla, claiming defects in the Autopilot design and the airbag. However, the jury awarded her zero damages, finding that Autopilot did not fail to perform safely, and that the airbag did not fail to perform safely.
The verdict could be an important win for Tesla as it continues to test and roll out its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) systems. The company has faced regulatory and legal scrutiny regarding these systems, which CEO Elon Musk has touted as essential to its future. Tesla’s driver-assistant systems are called Autopilot or Full Self-Driving, but the company stresses that the features do not make the cars autonomous, and that human drivers should be “prepared to take over at any moment.”