The Tesla Driver In The First Fatal 'Autopilot' Crash May Have Been Watching Harry Potter


The Florida Highway Patrol reportedly recovered a portable DVD player from the crash.

Having driven a Tesla Model S equipped with Autopilot I can say that the system works well but is in no way perfect. The death of Joshua Brown, who was driving in Florida and had his Model S in Autopilot when he struck a big rig and was killed, is proof of that. Tesla has admitted that the sensors on the car were blinded by light and couldn’t detect the edge of the tractor trailer. But Brown also didn’t attempt to apply the brakes, and that could have been because he was watching a movie while driving.

Frank Baressi, the driver of the big rig that Brown hit, says he could hear “Harry Potter” playing in the car, although he said that he couldn’t actually see the movie being played. "It was still playing when he died and snapped a telephone pole a quarter mile down the road," Baressi told the Associated Press. Baressi’s story was corroborated by the Florida Highway Patrol, which told Reuters that it recovered a portable DVD player from the wrecked Tesla. It’s still too early to declare this accident a result of driver negligence, but the fact that it’s even possible that Brown was watching a movie while driving his Tesla isn’t good.

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