North Carolina motorists who drive Tesla vehicles may already known that the company receives data via the Internet regarding their driving behaviors. The information is constantly sent, providing the company with data about how its cars are performing. As a June incident in California shows, the company can tap the information in order to defend itself against allegations by drivers that the vehicles caused their accidents.
In this case, a man rammed his Tesla into a wall. He claimed that the car unexpectedly accelerated on its own, causing the crash. Tesla reviewed the vehicle’s data and was able to prove that the man had applied sudden pressure to the accelerator pedal, causing the vehicle to speed up from 6 mph to a much faster rate before slamming into the building.
Many car manufacturers are starting to install at least rudimentary devices in their vehicles although most are not as robust as those that Tesla uses. There is a push by manufacturers to install more sophisticated data-collection devices in their vehicles, and with the drive towards developing fully autonomous cars, the systems should become nearly ubiquitous. When installed, the devices have been shown to greatly decrease the number of accidents. It is thought that the drivers’ knowledge of the presence of the devices works to make them drive more cautiously.
In an accident investigation, authorities can be expected to review the scene, the vehicles and the facts in order to determine the veracity of the drivers’ and witnesses’ statements. Emerging technology may provide additional evidence that a personal injury attorney could use when attempting to demonstrate that the negligence of another party was the cause of a client’s losses.