Technology is evolving every day and helps make our world easier, faster, and more efficient. However, not all technological advances are positive. Tesla currently uses an Autopilot driver-assistance program, and owners of Tesla vehicles have been using this system in potentially dangerous ways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ordered several companies that own and sell Autopilot Buddy to stop selling the device.
Autopilot Buddy, used in conjunction with Autopilot, can be extremely dangerous for the driver and others on the road. The product in question disables a feature that monitors driving while using Autopilot. It has been known to prevent the safety system from warning the driver to return their hands to the wheel. Drivers begin to rely on the system, which causes them to overestimate the vehicle’s abilities. Drivers then become less attentive while driving. This puts drivers using the product and other motorists on the road at risk for potential car accidents.
Dolder, Falco and Reese Partners Fight for Their Product
Dolder, Falco and Reese Partners, the company that manufactures and sells Autopilot Buddy, argue that the device is not a danger. The company states that Autopilot Buddy restores the functionality that is taken away through software updates by Tesla. The time between reminders for the driver to return their hands to the wheel has been dramatically reduced using Autopilot Buddy.
A two-piece magnetic device has been developed for the Tesla Model 3, which wraps around the inner arm of the steering wheel to track if the driver’s hands leave the wheel. The company argues that Autopilot Buddy is not meant to replace the driver’s attentiveness to the road and is not meant to be a hands-free device. They state that the driver’s hands must remain on the wheel as directed by Tesla’s terms of the user agreement.
Order to Cease Marketing, Sales, and Distribution
The NHTSA ordered Dolder, Falco and Reese Partners to cease all U.S. marketing, sales, and distribution of the Autopilot Buddy. If companies fail to comply, the NHTSA has the power to investigate and fine companies that aid in distracted driving. The distribution of this dangerous aftermarket product should be shut down. The senior policy analyst at Consumers Union states that any manufacture of vehicles with driver-assist systems should be safely designed. Recently, the Autopilot Buddy website stated that no orders have been taken in the United States, and the company is hopeful to resolve any issues as soon as possible.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates Help Victims Injured in All Types of Car Accidents
If you or someone you know has been injured due to a motorist using Autopilot Buddy, the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates can fight for your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve. With locations in Philadelphia and New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout the surrounding areas. Contact us online today or call us at 215-567-6600.