Tesla's autopilot feature involved in another accident, this time in Montana

By Shawn Knight · 26 replies
Jul 11, 2016
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  1. A Tesla Model X SUV was involved in a serious crash over the weekend with its driver pinning the blame on the vehicle’s autopilot system.

    The accident happened Saturday in Whitehall, Montana. According to a friend of the driver via the Tesla Motors Club forum, the vehicle was in autopilot mode at speeds of between 55 and 60 mph when the SUV veered off the road and hit a wooden guard rail.

    As you can see from the images, the impact destroyed the entire right side of the vehicle and even sheared off the front passenger-side wheel. As Electrek notes, version 7.1 and later of the autopilot software limits the speed at which it can be used to the maximum posted speed limit plus an additional five miles per hour.

    Fortunately, the two occupants didn’t suffer any major injuries.

    As of writing, neither Tesla nor CEO Elon Musk had publicly commented on the matter.

    Late last month, it was revealed that a Tesla Model S driver in Florida had been killed after his autopilot feature failed to detect a tractor trailer as it crossed an intersection. Earlier this month, a Model X was involved in a non-fatal accident 100 miles east of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

    In the latter crash, the vehicle apparently collided with a concrete median which sent it across the road before rolling and coming to a stop on its roof. The driver, Albert Scaglione, said autopilot was engaged at the time of the crash.

    It’s worth pointing out that Tesla’s autopilot feature is still in beta status and requires that drivers remain alert and aware of their surroundings and keep their hands on the wheel while it’s engaged.

    Permalink to story.

  2. noel24

    noel24 TS Evangelist Posts: 355   +203

    You qoute 3 accidents, one fatal, within a month, for a company that manufactures relatively rare, custom automobile. What I'd like to see is a perspective as how it look like against likes of a similarly performing brands like Ferrari, Lambo, Porsche, or whatever sporty image automobile sold in small batches.
    TadMSTR, alabama man and psycros like this.
  3. wayne1486

    wayne1486 TS Rookie

    Another reckless driver blaming autopilot which is in beta by the way now hear comes the lawsuit poor telsa
    NeoFlux and cliffordcooley like this.
  4. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,867   +1,287

    I can hardly believe Tesla is allowed to let people use such an unsafe feature. Most Tesla buyers aren't laying down 40,000 or more to be beta testers..their expecting the iPhone of passenger vehicles. OF COURSE they will be doing something else while the car drives itself - that's the whole *point*. You don't put "beta" software in control of a full-size vehicle on public roads . The government completely dropped the ball on this, like it does on nearly everything. Automatic ground guidance only works well either off-road in relatively smooth terrain or on well maintained highways that the system has been trained to recognize. I'm willing to bet neither Google or Tesla have tested their autopilots extensively outside of Silicon Valley.
  5. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 565   +179

    Someone heading to Bozeman on I90 prob. We don't see a ton of these kinds of cars here in Montana, just trucks, trucks, and trucks.
  6. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    They need to disable this feature. Beta testing is for people in closed environments, not the open road.
    cliffordcooley and alabama man like this.
  7. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,321   +1,970

    Awwwww .... come on .... Space-X didn't get it right the first several times. Of course, the cars haven't started blowing up when it's a bad landing either .... hmmmmmmmmm.
  8. ghostf1re

    ghostf1re TS Booster Posts: 174   +70

    I get the convenience of this feature in the future, but personally I love driving my car. I'm not really interested in having a car do this for me.
  9. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,995   +1,316

    People need to stop knowingly using beta features, neglecting basic safety rules, and blaming everyone else for their negligence.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  10. Ranger1st

    Ranger1st TS Evangelist Posts: 348   +124

    How on earth did the lawyers for Tesla think they were going to mitigate liability when this started to happen.. Tesla executive and legal and technical ALL dropped the ball on this.
  11. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,681   +1,079

    Typo spotted: "100 miles east of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania."
  12. Darren delaMare

    Darren delaMare TS Rookie

    NOTE: Regardless of what software and features you find in your car, you, the driver, the licensed individual are 150% responsible for every action that happens whilst driving a vehicle. Granted there are circumstances where blow outs etc can be very dangerous and mostly end up in a crash but these incidents can only be avoided to a certain degree.

    Cruising down the motorway with AutoPilot enabled whilst playing Pokemon Go, smokey a spliff and scratching your balls is simply undue care and attention. If you crash, your an ***** because you weren't focused and didn't have both hands on the wheel. A car simply does not just veer off the road 'because of the Autopilot' feature.

    Tesla should sue *****s like these for being under educated morons and damaging the reputation of their company and products.. They should include small electrical sensors in the steering wheel to prove twats like these didn't even have their hands on the steering wheel.

    These people are the whole reason we have things like 'Caution: Contains Hot Contents' written on the side of a coffee cup from Starbucks. These people are holding back humanity and blaming everyone else for their stupidity.

    TadMSTR likes this.
  13. rvnwlfdroid

    rvnwlfdroid TS Booster Posts: 177   +41

    Disable it and if they wish to be part of the Beta stages they sign a waver holding themselves accountable for their own stupidity.
  14. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    It's not a matter of their personal risk. It should be banned from public roads in the interest of public safety until it has been properly refined.
  15. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,000   +653

    I'll be interested to learn what is in the 'black box' and how that explains what actually happened.
    Darren delaMare likes this.
  16. Darren delaMare

    Darren delaMare TS Rookie

    I'm sure that the Tesla Autopilot must be listed as a 'driving aid' or 'driving assist' and not simply something that turns the car into a rogue self autonomous tank. Surely that has to be in the small print for their own sake lol

    I can see this on their website for Auto Pilot:
    "The driver is still responsible for, and ultimately in control of, the car."

    So any case against Tesla should be covered unless the Autopilot intentionally tried to fire them into a wall, maybe the car was having a bad day and didn't want to continue. lol
  17. anguis

    anguis TS Enthusiast Posts: 85   +12

    Autopilot is like an upgraded version of cruise control. Just because some people are *****s and don't pay attention when using cruise, and rear end a tractor trailer, doesn't mean you should ban cruise control in the "interest of public safety." Terrible lack of logic in your comment. The driver just needs to pay attention, as always. Simple.
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,520

    Elon Musk will have something positive to say about this, as soon as he gets back from his stockbrokers. They'll just be a slight delay with the press release, while he sells off some more Tesla stock.

    Maybe the other car companies have found a way to jamb the "auto pilot" system. After all, they've been out to get "poor Elon" since practically before Tesla existed.

    Or maybe, the US government is testing a Tesla specific EMP weapon. Was the car driving by "Area 51" by any chance?
  19. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    The only one failing to apply logic here is you. Cruise control is limited to throttle input and (in luxury cars) brakes. You still have to drive the car. Autopilot surrenders the whole process to the onboard computer. They aren't the same and the former does not completely disengage the driver from operation, which is the explicit purpose of autopilot.

    Autopilot doesn't belong in consumer vehicles. It hasn't been properly developed yet.
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,520

    Yeah well, Elon Musk says it does, and he's a "visionary"! And who the heck are you to sass him back anyway, buster?
  21. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    I'm a millennial. I'm special.

    captaincranky likes this.
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,520

    @davislane 1 Then you don't need "auto-pilot" anyway! You just aim your star at the place you want to be, and click your high beam lever three times, while you repeat, "I wish I was there already"..., "I wish I was there already"..., "I wish I was there already"...(y):p
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
    davislane1 likes this.
  23. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 613   +175

    I wish they still taught percentages in schools today.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,255   +454

    Does the Tesla not record video of the drive like every other dash cam out there?

    I wonder who will be determined to be at fault for this... I'm betting it is the driver but I'm hoping a full investigation will reveal more.
  25. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,069   +218

    "It’s worth pointing out that Tesla’s autopilot feature is still in beta status and requires that drivers remain alert and aware of their surroundings and keep their hands on the wheel while it’s engaged."

    This should be at the beginning of these articles. The headline should read Tesla driver misusing auto pilot crashes.

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