Add Speed to the List of Causes for the Tesla Model S Autopilot Fatal Crash

Autopilot crash aftermath 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
It might have taken over 130 million miles of semi-autonomous driving, but the inevitable has sadly finally happened. Strangely enough, it took almost one month for the public to find out about a fatal crash involving Tesla's Autopilot driving aid software.
As you might have heard, back on May 7, a Model S crashed into the side of a semi-truck, which resulted in the death of the electric car's driver who was alone in the vehicle at the time. The Tesla Model S, as if attempting to recreate one of those movie scenes, went right under the truck's trailer as the large vehicle was turning and had positioned perpendicular on the road.

The EV passed through but emerged on the other side without its windshield or roof. The Autopilot system, however, was still engaged and drove the car for a few hundred yards before coming to a stop in a power pole.

According to witnesses, the car was traveling at a very high speed. The truck driver said he felt the crash as it happened, but he failed actually to see the car because it was moving too fast. Another woman who was driving on the same interstate as the Tesla (as the ABC News report states) said that the car had passed her by before the accident, and she was doing 85 mph - which is already a high-enough speed on any public road outside Germany's autobahn network.

Earlier it has become apparent that the now deceased driver was actually watching a movie on a portable DVD player (the Tesla infotainment system doesn't allow video playback for obvious reasons), which would explain his complete lack of reactions.

Which brings us to what is probably the saddest part about the whole incident: even if the crash couldn't have been avoided with the driver acknowledging the danger too late to stop in time, if he had been paying attention, maybe he could have ducked under the dashboard and got out of it alive.

Instead, he'll probably serve as an example for all those who continue to use this system as if it were 100% failproof, even though Tesla made it very clear that it's not and that maintaining road awareness is mandatory at all times.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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