Not Another Crash

A third Tesla vehicle crash occurred while allegedly under the control of the car’s Autopilot system.

On Sunday morning, a Model X crashed near the small town of Whitehall, Montana. Authorities say the driver nor the passenger was injured in the single-vehicle crash.

The Model S sedan and Model X SUV has an Autopilot capability that can use radar and cameras to steer the car in its lane and automatically match speeds of slower traffic ahead. The system can also automatically change lanes when the driver hits the turn signal.

In this latest crash, the car failed to detect an obstacle in the road, according to a thread posted on the Tesla Motors Club forum by someone who said they’re a friend of the driver. The thread included photos showing the damage to the vehicle.

Image source: Jalopnik

Wrong Use?

Tesla said Tuesday that it appears the driver in the crash was using the system improperly. 

“The data suggests that the driver’s hands were not on the steering wheel, as no force was detected on the steering wheel for over two minutes after autosteer was engaged (even a very small amount of force, such as one hand resting on the wheel, will be detected),” a Tesla spokesperson said in a statement.

The spokesperson furthers that as road conditions became increasingly uncertain, the vehicle again alerted the driver to put his hands on the wheel but he did not do so and consequently, the car collided with a post on the edge of the roadway.

In a separate incident, the US Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether the company failed to notify its investors of a fatal crash on May 16. It appears that the investors did not know of the incident until after a $2 billion stock sale on May 18 to 19.


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