Tough times for Tesla

Tesla is planning a major update of its Autopilot software following the first fatal crash in Autopilot mode – although none of the upcoming modifcations would have prevented the accident.

Joshua Brown was killed on impact when his Model S collided with a lorry in America in May. His car was in Autopilot mode at the time and it’s believed he was watching a film when the crash occurred.

The police report said the lorry was pulling out to make a left turn when the Model S collided with it. Tesla says its software was unable to detect the white trailer against the glare of the sky.

The company is now testing new software which is intended, according to reports, to improve Autopilot performance in traffic and navigate off-ramps to exit a motorway. These features would not have prevented the fatal crash though, which was the first involving a Tesla in Autopilot mode after nearly 130 million miles.

Meanwhile, Tesla has said it will fall short of its annual shipment targets for 2016. It shipped 14,370 cars in the second quarter, missing its target of 17,000. The company still expects to deliver about 50,000 cars during the second half of the year, but even then would fall short of its full-year target of 80,000 to 90,000 cars over the entire year.

Shares in the company have fallen 13% in the last three months.