There is obviously something very strange. Yesterday the news went around the network of a fatal accident that has involved a Tesla Model S. According to the reconstruction of the authorities, the car crashed and immediately caught fire. The sensational aspect of the affair is that on board there was no one driving. In fact, only two people were present inside the passenger compartment: one sitting on the front passenger seat and one behind. Unfortunately, they both died.
Given the “absurd” dynamics of the accident, it was immediately thought incorrect use of the driving assistance system of the electric car. After all, many examples of misuse of Autopilot have come from America. Yet, according to Elon Musk, the responsibility would not lie with the car’s driver assistance system. Tesla’s CEO, in fact, in a tweet points out that the recovered logs highlight that the car did not have Autopilot enabled. Furthermore, the owner had not bought Full Self-Driving functions. Hence, the car couldn’t even use the advanced driving system Tesla is experimenting with in America.
Your research as a private individual is better than professionals @WSJ!
Data logs recovered so far show Autopilot was not enabled & this car did not purchase FSD.
Moreover, standard Autopilot would require lane lines to turn on, which this street did not have.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 19, 2021
It seems clear that there is something wrong. The authorities are certain that no one was driving. Relatives of the victims confirm that there were only two on board. According to The New York Times, the two men were discussing the functionality of Tesla’s driver assistance system before getting into the car. Yet, for Elon Musk, the Tesla Model S did not have Autopilot enabled.
Obviously, the authorities want to understand what actually happened. There National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it had sent a team to investigate the incident. Even the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) sent two people to investigate the matter. In particular, the NTSB will focus on vehicle operation and fire.
At this point it will be interesting to find out what will emerge from the investigations to actually understand the real dynamics of the accident.