First self-driving car fatality
The first U.S. fatality using self-driving technology took place in May when the driver of a Tesla S sports car operating the vehicle’s “Autopilot” automated driving system died after a collision with a truck in Florida, federal officials said Thursday.
The government is investigating the design and performance of Tesla’s system.
Preliminary reports indicate the crash occurred when a tractor-trailer rig made a left turn in front of the Tesla at an intersection of a divided highway where there was no traffic light, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. The Tesla driver died due to injuries sustained in the crash, which took place May 7 in Williston, Fla., the agency said. The city is southwest of Gainesville.
Tesla said on its website that neither the driver nor the Autopilot noticed the white side of the trailer, which was perpendicular to the Model S, against the brightly lit sky, and neither applied the brakes.
Urgent warning over airbags
The U.S. government is urging owners of 313,000 older Hondas and Acuras to stop driving them and get them repaired after new tests found that their Takata air bag inflators are extremely dangerous.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Thursday that it has data showing that chances are as high as 50 percent that the inflators can explode in a crash, injuring people by sending metal shrapnel into the passenger compartments.
“These vehicles are unsafe and need to be repaired immediately,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a news release.
Al Gore’s daughter arrested
Former Vice President Al Gore’s daughter was among 23 people arrested during a protest of a pipeline under construction, organizers say.
The arrests happened Wednesday at the site of Spectra Energy’s West Roxbury Lateral pipeline in Boston.
Karenna Gore was among demonstrators who tried to block construction activity on the site by lying in a trench dug for the pipeline and refusing to move until firefighters removed them, protest group Resist the Pipeline & Stop the West Roxbury Lateral said.
The group opposes the pipeline because of safety and climate change concerns.
Court rejects fee settlement
A $7.25 billion settlement between merchants and Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. over credit card transaction fees was rejected Thursday by a federal appeals court, a ruling praised by a retail trade association as a victory for consumers.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said the 12 million merchants covered by the antitrust class action were inadequately represented by law firms that gave merchants who stood to gain little or nothing no opportunity to opt out of the deal, approved by a judge in December 2013. A number of the nation’s largest retailers, including Target Corp. and Macy’s Inc., rejected the settlement.
Compiled from staff and wire reports.