Yesterday Tesla Motors announced the first death associated with one of its cars in Autopilot mode. The accident occurred in Florida in May and was made public by the car's manufacturer only when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an official investigation of the self-driving car's Autopilot system.
This first self-driving car death raises questions about the safety and future of automated highways at a critical time when authorities are attempting to figure out regulations. Tesla Motors did its best to reassure the public that the incident was not cause for concern, but it is certain that enthusiasm about self-driving cars is at least temporarily tempered. As for liability, Tesla Motors may be sued but not necessarily by the deceased's family.