Electric car giant Tesla agrees to settle over fatal autopilot crash


The electric car giant, Tesla, has reached an agreement to resolve a lawsuit stemming from a 2018 crash that resulted in the death of Apple engineer Walter Huang. The crash occurred when Huang’s Model X, operating on Autopilot, collided with a highway barrier.

The lawsuit, filed by Mr. Huang’s family, was set to commence in the California Superior Court this week. Had the trial proceeded, it would have subjected Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving technology to increased scrutiny.

Details of the settlement were not disclosed, and reports indicate that the agreement still requires approval from a judge. Tesla has yet to respond to a request for comment from the BBC.

Prior to the settlement, Tesla contended that Mr. Huang had misused the Autopilot system by engaging in a video game moments before the accident.

The company has previously prevailed in California trials by asserting that drivers failed to adhere to instructions to maintain attention while using the Autopilot system.

Tesla is facing a series of lawsuits related to crashes allegedly involving its driver-assistance technology.

Additionally, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating several accidents involving Autopilot.

For many years, Tesla has pledged to develop an autonomous vehicle but has not yet launched one.

On Friday, Mr. Musk announced that the company intends to introduce a self-driving robotaxi in August.

The resolution of the lawsuit with Mr. Huang’s family comes at a time when the company is contending with declining sales.

Deliveries experienced a significant decline in the first three months of this year as Tesla faced challenges including a fire at its European factory, disruptions in global shipping, and increased competition.

Responding to heightened competition from companies like BYD, Tesla has repeatedly reduced prices, but demand in crucial markets such as China has decreased.

Since the beginning of this year, Tesla’s shares have plummeted by nearly a third.