Tesla driver operating car on autopilot in deadly crash ordered to stand trial

Los Angeles driver to be tried on two counts of vehicular manslaughter

A Los Angeles driver operating a Tesla on autopilot during a deadly 2019 crash must stand trial on vehicular manslaughter charges, a Los Angeles County judge ruled this week.

Kevin George Aziz Riad, 27, will be tried on two counts of vehicular manslaughter, Fox 11 LA reports

The accident happened in 2019 when Riad was driving 74 mph in the Los Angeles suburb of Gardena.

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S in motion (iStock / iStock)

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Police reportedly said his Tesla Model S took a freeway exit and ran a red light before plowing into a Honda Civic Dec. 29, 2019.

The crash killed Gilberto Alcazar Lopez, 40, and Maria Guadalupe Nieves-Lopez, 39, who were on a first date the night of the accident.

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An unidentified woman in the Tesla, along with Riad, were hospitalized with injuries after the accident. 

The car’s Autosteer and traffic aware cruise control were activated at the time of the crash, according to prosecutors.

A Tesla engineer also testified that sensors indicated Riad had a hand on the steering wheel.

Crash data reportedly showed that no brakes were applied in the six minutes leading up to the accident. 

Tesla crash

Tesla (Mason Trinca for The Washington Post via Getty Images / Getty Images)

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Tesla officials have said that Autosteer and the more sophisticated "full self-driving" function cannot entirely drive the vehicle, and drivers must monitor and respond to needs based on traffic conditions.

There have been several incidents in recent years involving crashes that occurred after drivers mishandled automated driving systems.