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Tesla crash won't stop driverless car progress: Renault-Nissan CEO

Problems Issues with Tesla's self-driving software that were linked to the death of a driver this year would not block the development of autonomous vehicles, Carlos Ghosn, the chief executive of Renault-Nissan, said on Tuesday.

In September, Tesla revealed the death of a man in one of its cars in a crash in the Netherlands and said that the "autopilot" software's role in the accident was being investigated.

"In the moments leading up to the collision, there is no evidence to suggest that Autopilot was not operating as designed and as described to users: specifically, as a driver assistance system that maintains a vehicle's position in lane and adjusts the vehicle's speed to match surrounding traffic," Tesla said in a blog post at the time.

This incident shone a spotlight on autonomous driving features currently in cars as automakers are in a race to bring fully driverless cars on the road.


Rescue workers proceed with caution around the spot where a Tesla slammed into a tree in Baarn, Netherlands, on September 7, 2016.
Robin van Lonkhuijsen | AFP | Getty Images
Rescue workers proceed with caution around the spot where a Tesla slammed into a tree in Baarn, Netherlands, on September 7, 2016.

During an interview at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon, Ghosn said that the teething problems with Tesla's autonomous software would not derail the industry's push.

"It's always a problem when a competitor has a quality problem…a lot of questions are being asked," Ghosn said in the chat moderated by CNBC.

"But I think when you have a technology that brings so much benefit that I don't think people are going to drop off … after one problem," he said, adding that there is nothing "fundamentally wrong" with the technology.