Post Reports

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Can Tesla’s Full Self-Driving mode be trusted?

Today, as automakers race toward a driverless future, The Post’s technology reporter Trisha Thadani breaks down a Post investigation into a 2022 car crash in Colorado and the questions it raises about new self-driving technology on the road now. 

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In May of 2022, Hans von Ohain and his friend Erik Rossiter went golfing in Evergreen, Colo. Hans showed off his Tesla’s new Full Self-Driving mode. The friends shared drinks and played 21 holes of golf.

But Hans never made it home. On the drive back along a curvy mountain road, Hans and his Tesla swerved into a tree and burst into flames. Erik survived. Hans died in the fire. 

When Post technology reporter Trisha Thadani learned of the accident, it surprised her. First, if Full Self-Driving mode was engaged when the car crashed, it would be the first confirmed fatality connected to the technology. Then she discovered that Hans was a Tesla employee.

Today on “Post Reports,” Trisha breaks down what she and a team of reporters learned about the moments leading up to the fatal crash and the bigger conversation about safety regulations on autonomous driving technology.

Today’s show was produced by Emma Talkoff. It was edited by Monica Campbell and mixed by Sean Carter. Thanks to Maggie Penman. The reporters who Trisha Thadani worked with on the Tesla investigation include Faiz Siddiqui, Rachel Lerman, Julia Wall and Whitney Shefte.  

Subscribe to The Washington Post here.

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Description by Post Reports
Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post, for your ears. Martine Powers and Elahe Izadi are your hosts, asking the questions you didn’t know you wanted answered. Published weekdays around 5 p.m. Eastern time.
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