Melbourne hit-and-run blamed on Tesla Autopilot, could set legal precedent for new tech

Melbourne hit-and-run blamed on Tesla Autopilot, could set legal precedent for new tech

A very first-of-its-form court case could lay out lawful precedents for the use of autonomous tech in Australia – right after a Tesla Design 3 driver blamed the car’s ‘Autopilot’ procedure for putting a 26-year-old health and fitness employee in important situation.


A strike-and-run incident in Melbourne yesterday could established a legal precedent for the use of autonomous driving systems in Australia.

At close to 6:30am in the south-east suburb of Armadale, 23-yr-old P-plater Sakshi Agrawal (proven underneath) allegedly strike a pedestrian even though driving the wheel of her Tesla Model 3 and subsequently fled the scene.

Two several hours later she reportedly returned to where by the critically injured target was staying dealt with, and turned herself into police – however, allegedly tried to diminish accountability by professing the car’s ‘Autopilot’ program was responsible for the accident.



‘Autopilot’ is the manufacturer identify for Tesla’s suite of widespread driver assistance systems, together with lane-preserve guide, autonomous emergency braking, and radar cruise handle. It does not deliver vehicle autonomy.

More, the brand’s optional ‘Full Self Driving’ technological know-how merchandise provides further features, it does not give complete-self-driving in any sort in Australia.

Though overseas authorities and industry analysts have previously argued these names are deceptive and may possibly lead buyers to incorrectly presume the vehicle is able of driving by itself, the company requires all end users to accept obligation for the vehicle’s management prior to use.



However, Push understands yesterday’s accident presents a legal minefield and could include the interpretation of guidelines which are nevertheless to be tested – perhaps placing Australian precedent moving ahead for driver culpability when applying autonomous technologies.

David McCarthy – a former journalist and existing specialist for automotive brands – advised Travel the incident and forthcoming court docket case will be substantial for two factors: It will set a authorized precedent for driver culpability, and it will established a authorized precedent for insurance policy businesses paying out out claims based on ‘responsibility’.

“The in depth insurance policy on the vehicle is unlikely to fork out for the hurt is she states she wasn’t in control of the car … More, to my know-how there hasn’t been a situation in Australia involving the use of autonomous technological innovation in an accident and it will be up to the court to figure out legal responsibility here.”



Whilst the Design 3 Prolonged-Range and Overall performance designs are mentioned as a prohibited for P1 and P2 drivers in Victoria, the VIN number involved with the ’00X’ selection plates suggests the vehicle in problem is a lawful solitary-motor variant.  

Although Tesla is the only maker to use the ‘Autopilot’ moniker, most marques offer you a related suite of systems across their petrol-driven and electric ranges. Push understands quite a few makers and importers are pursuing the situation closely.

Push has arrived at out to a spokesperson for Victoria Law enforcement for even further info on the circumstance, and this story will be up-to-date with its response. A spokesperson for Tesla was also contacted for comment, nevertheless, the marque has a policy of not responding to media inquiries.



Sakshi Agrawal has been granted conditional bail, regardless of police protesting on the foundation she poses a flight risk. She is because of to following front the Melbourne Magistrates court docket on 14 June 2022.

The sufferer of the alleged strike-and-operate – who The Age reviews is a 26-year-old well being worker – continues to be in a critical ailment in Alfred Clinic, the place she experienced been functioning at the time of the incident.



William Davis

William Davis has published for Travel since July 2020, covering news and current affairs in the automotive field. &#13
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He has managed a most important aim on market trends, autonomous technological know-how, electric car or truck polices, and community environmental coverage. &#13
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As the latest addition to the Drive team, William was brought onboard for his notice to element, writing abilities, and powerful work ethic.&#13
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Inspite of creating for a diverse array of retailers – which include the Australian Fiscal Evaluate, Robb Report, and Home Observer – given that completing his media diploma at Macquarie University, William has usually experienced a passion for cars.

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