There was another serious vehicle accident involving a Tesla vehicle. The driver had also claimed that the Autopilot was engaged at the time of the incident. This time, however, Tesla is adamantly pointing out that their system was not at fault here. Rather, the accident was the result of driver error.
On Saturday, Montana Highway Patrol said that it received a report involving a single vehicle crash at about 12:40 a.m. on Highway 2 near Cardwell. The Tesla vehicle had gone off the right side of the roadway then struck a a cable. As a result of the crash, the vehicle ended up losing a wheel; there was extensive damage on the passenger side. Thankfully, no one was reported injured.
Montana Highway Patrol said that the driver informed them that the vehicle’s Autopilot had been engaged at the time of the crash. He had been driving between 55 and 60 mph. The speed limit in the area was 55 mph. According to a report from CNN, the driver of the vehicle identified himself only as Pang and said that he remains uncertain whether the crash was by himself or the car.
In response, elektrek said that Tesla believes the crash was the result of driver error. For one thing, the carmaker remarked that Pang’s hands were not on the steering wheel at the time of the crash.
According to Tesla, “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 2 minutes after autosteer was engaged (even a very small amount of force, such as one hand resting on the wheel, will be detected).”
Moreover, Tesla claimed that Pang’s Model X tried alerting him to put both hands back on the wheel, especially when road conditions became uncertain that night.
“He did not do so and shortly thereafter, the vehicle collided,” Tesla pointed out. On the other hand, Pang said he received no such warning and pointed out that the warnings on his vehicle were in English. Pang speaks Mandarin.
Following the crash, Tesla does not recommend the Autopilot to be used when going at high speeds on undivided roads. Meanwhile, Pang received a traffic citation for careless driving following the crash.