Tesla Triumphs in Landmark Autopilot Case, Signalling Legal Victory for Full Self-Driving

UNITED STATES: Tesla Inc. emerged triumphant in its first U.S. trial concerning allegations that its Autopilot feature was responsible for a fatal accident. The case centred around the tragic incident involving Micah Lee’s Model 3, which veered off a Los Angeles highway, ultimately colliding with a palm tree and catching fire.

After four days of deliberation, a 12-member jury voted 9-3, determining that no manufacturing defect was evident in the vehicle. This verdict follows Tesla’s previous success in a Los Angeles trial, where the company successfully emphasized the importance of human supervision despite the suggestive names “Autopilot” and “Full Self-Driving.”

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Jurors who shared their thoughts after the trial emphasized that Tesla had provided sufficient warnings about the system and attributed the accident to distracted driving. The stock market responded positively to the news, with TSLA shares ending Friday’s trading at $219.96, marking a 6.1% increase for the week.

In China’s electric vehicle market, October brought a flurry of activity as major players announced their delivery results. While Tesla faced a 2.6% drop in October deliveries of its China-made electric vehicles, the company remained committed to its sales-focused strategy, banking on an upgraded Model 3 launched in September for a potential turnaround.

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Meanwhile, Chinese automakers Li Auto and Xpeng reported robust growth. Li Auto achieved an impressive 302.1% year-on-year delivery increase, surpassing 40,000 monthly deliveries for the first time. 

XPeng, on the other hand, recorded a record high of 20,002 units delivered, showcasing the success of its Smart EV line and unveiling ambitious plans for its advanced driver assistance system (ADAS).

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Nio experienced a 3% monthly increase, delivering 16,074 vehicles in October. Despite a slight decline in SUV sales, its sedan sales surged by 21%, demonstrating resilience in a competitive market. However, analysts anticipate NIO’s 4Q guidance to indicate a conservative approach, with expectations of a sequential decline in vehicle volumes.

In light of recent developments, Nio announced its decision to cut 10% of staff positions, citing the need to eliminate “duplicate” and “inefficient” roles as well as reevaluating project investments not expected to contribute to the company’s financial performance within the next three years.

Also Read: Tesla’s Optimus Robot Strikes a ‘Namaste’ Pose, Ignites Calls for Indian Expansion


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