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Tesla shares slip after first fatal accident

International Business
Sat, 02 Jul 2016

New York: Tesla Motors shares were down less than one per cent yesterday, with an analyst saying that initial reaction to the first fatality involving its Autopilot system was based more on perception than reality.

The incident, in which a man driving a Tesla Model S was killed in a collision with a truck in Florida, has prompted an investigation by federal highway safety regulators, the US government and Tesla said.

Tesla said the crash was the first in the more than 130 million miles that the semi-autonomous driving system has been used. That compares with a fatality every 94m miles for all vehicles in the US.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Joseph Spak said the incident presented more of a “headline risk” than real risk.

“The bottom line is that no autonomous vehicle will be perfect, to say nothing of semi-autonomous or Tesla’s Autopilot (which we would classify as low level semi-autonomous). 

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