Tesla technology will be the best witness in a car accident — even if drivers don’t want to hear its side of the story. One driver has already experienced this truth-telling after crashing into a wall and explaining to police that the Tesla accelerated on its own. The car’s internal register told a different tale, as it had a record of the driver pushing the accelerator to 100 percent of its power. In short, the car had nothing to do with it, and the accident’s fault fell on the driver.
Car aficionados won’t be surprised that Tesla is the first to use such recording devices in its vehicles, considering the fact that the company is always ahead of the curve technology-wise. Perhaps more surprisingly, though, other car companies can and will likely be following suit. Already, some car manufacturers are outfitting new models with black box-type technology to record what happens once an accident occurs. Add to that the fact that many brands, including Tesla, have given their vehicles the gift of Internet accessibility, which means that crash data can be shared with police instantly. The combination of these two factors will give investigators a much clearer idea of what happened during an accident, and drivers can expect up to 90 percent of vehicles to have these features by 2020.
There are many reasons why car companies have a stake in this type of technology. For one, many have deals with insurance companies and, obviously, this type of information would come in handy for said companies when their clients file claims. The information can also help engineers from other car companies as they attempt to build vehicles as autonomous as the Tesla — the nuances of your driving could help shape the technology that will one day drive your car for you.
There is, of course, one catch to consider: not every driver will want to have this log written if they ever have an accident. The driver above who blamed his accident on the car’s impulses felt the same way, undermined by the car’s interface. Certainly more drivers in the future will feel the same way, but it will be up to lawmakers and carmakers to decide how much our cars will know about our driving in the future.