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Former Navy SEAL Joshua Brown, 40, died on 7 May after his autonomous car crashed into another vehicle in Williston, Florida.
Cameras on the Tesla Model S sedan are believed to have failed to make a distinction between the white side of an articulated lorry and the bright sky. It did not automatically apply the brakes and crashed into the lorry as it turned left at a divided highway intersection.
Responding to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) decision to open a preliminary evaluation into the performance of Autopilot -- Tesla's software which controls steering, braking, lane changes and speed adjustments - during the accident, Tesla released a statement on its website.
"This is the first known fatality in just over 130 million miles where Autopilot was activated. Among all vehicles in the US, there is a fatality every 94 million miles. Worldwide, there is a fatality approximately every 60 million miles," it said.
In order to turn on Autopilot (which is disabled by default), drivers must first acknowledge that it is an "assist feature", the statement said. Drivers are required to keep their hands on the steering wheel and to be prepared to take over control of the vehicle at any time. If the driver's hands are not detected on the wheel, the vehicle will gradually slow down until hands-on is identified.
Tesla recognised that while its Autopilot technology is continuously improving, "it is not perfect and still requires the driver to remain alert". However, it added that "when used in conjunction with driver oversight, the data is unequivocal that Autopilot reduces driver workload and results in a statistically significant improvement in safety when compared to purely manual driving".
Self-driving car trials are underway in the UK in Bristol, Coventry, Greenwich and Milton Keynes.
In the Queen's Speech in May the government announced that the Modern Transport Bill will include new laws that will make the UK ready to pioneer driverless cars.
This latest fatal injury rate is 7% lower than the five-year (2010-11 to 2014-15) average rate of 0.52 per 100,000 workers (155 deaths).These figures indicate that the downward trend of workplace deaths – which has more than halved over the last 20 years – is levelling off, the HSE said.The 2015-16 statistics, which cover the 12 months from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016, are provisional and will be finalised in July next year. This means that the figure of 144 could change.
Mold Crown Court heard that, between 4 April 2014 and 28 August 2015, GHA Coaches did not arrange for its lifting equipment to be thoroughly examined within the required timescales. Thorough examinations ensure equipment is safe to operate and allow deterioration to be detected and remedied in good time.
As previously reported, on 23 April 2014, William James was tipping carcasses from a compartment in an enclosed animal waste trailer, the end of which was covered with a tarpaulin. James climbed on to a gantry on the back of the trailer to roll back the tarpaulin with the intention of tipping out a second load, unaware that a pig carcass had become stuck between the compartments. He mounted the trailer and attempted to dislodge the carcass with a shovel.
Hove Crown Court heard that employees of Diverse Ventures were using the rope to pull the jib of a ship-mounted crane back into position when it snapped under tension. The recoiling rope struck worker Paul Hudghton, 50, and he sustained significant head injuries.
As we reported last month, reach trucks operated in close proximity to workers who were on foot sorting commercial leaflets at the bundling tables. Here, leaflets were weighed, packed together and put into cages which had to be rolled into storage lanes ready for collection by delivery vehicles.
On 20 December 2014, Muhammed Zohaib Yasin was observing another employee carrying out repair work on a Vauxhall Corsa.Yasin was at the front of the car adding antifreeze to the engine, when the mechanic he was working with opened the driver’s door and turned on the ignition. The vehicle shot forward trapping and crushing the 27-year-old.An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the car had no defects but it had been left in gear with the handbrake off.
A Belfast-based Risk & Compliance software provider has been collaborating with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and construction giant Costain as part of an ongoing project to unlock artificial intelligence’s (AI) potential in improving the management of risks on worksites.
We spoke to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Andrew Johnson about a case where a one-tonne pallet of glass fell on a United Pallet Network (UK) Limited’s employee, causing life-changing injuries.
Highways England will not face a corporate manslaughter charge over the death of a 62-year-old woman on a smart motorway because the organisation “did not owe road users a ‘relevant duty of care’” under the Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007, South Yorkshire Police have announced.