Another Tesla crash, another round of finger-pointing.

This time, a Tesla owner in Los Angeles drove into the back of a parked fire truck on a freeway this past Monday while the car’s Autopilot semi-autonomous drive system was, according to the driver, engaged. Fortunately there were no injuries, but the National Transportation Safety Board indicated that it would send two investigators to look into the incident.

That last detail alone—that the NTSB would even show up for an otherwise straightforward rear-end collision on a highway—is actually the most significant part of this story, and it’s a telling indicator of what we’re up against as we march through the semi-autonomous phase of driving on our way to the Holy Grail of fully autonomous transport. This is new turf, and the NTSB needs as much data as it can get about what happens when drivers engage new technologies on public roads and things go awry.

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NTSB Begins Investigating Autonomous Car Accidents Like Plane Crashes

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