Yet another Autopilot-related Tesla crash has raised concerns over the safety and efficacy of the semi-autonomous technology.
The crash occurred Sunday morning near Whitehall, Montana, reports the Detroit Free Press. After veering off the road, a self-driven Model X SUV crashed into multiple wooden stakes along the roadside, causing severe damage to the vehicle.
Fortunately, neither the passenger nor the driver – or, more accurately, driver-side occupant – of the vehicle was injured in the crash.
Tesla has confirmed that its Autopilot feature was indeed in use at the time of the crash, but levels blame for the crash against the vehicle’s driver.
“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),” said a Tesla spokesperson in a formal statement regarding the crash.
“As road conditions became increasingly uncertain, the vehicle again alerted the driver to put his hands on the wheel. He did not do so and shortly thereafter the vehicle collided with a post on the edge of the roadway.”
Safety regulators are likely to include this crash in their growing portfolio of Autopilot-related crashes.
The US-based National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has confirmed it has launched an investigation into a fatal Tesla crash involving Autopilot that took place in May of this year.
The crash claimed the life of 40-year-old Joshua Brown after his Model S autopilot system failed to detect or react to a tractor-trailer turning across its lane.