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Giant Suicidal Moth Disables Tesla Model S Autopilot

There have certainly been plenty of incidents regarding the Autopilot function in Teslas, but most of them have had humans at fault. This time, a night-loving cousin of the butterfly was to blame for the temporary malfunction of a Tesla Model S.
Moth smashed on Tesla Model S Autopilot sensor 1 photo
Reddit user Redebo was recently letting his Tesla Model S P90D do its thing with the Autopilot system on Highway 93 between Kingman and Las Vegas, in Nevada, when the dashboard started flashing and the Cruise Control switched off.

A warning saying “Radar visibility has been reduced” appeared on the dash and obviously the driver went into a bit of a panic. Since it was also night, he pulled into a gas station, puzzling a car filled with German exchange students when parking an electric Tesla near the gas pumps.

When he reached the front of the car, he was greeted with the image above. It's a pretty large specimen of the Lepidoptera variety, also known as a big-a** moth, which had embedded itself right in front of the Autopilot Radar opening at around 85 mph (137 km/h).

We have to specify that it was the Model S that was traveling at that speed, not the moth, but the insect's large size was enough to disturb how the Autopilot sensors work on the car. Unfortunately for the suicidal moth but thankfully for the Tesla owner, its remains were easily scraped from the car with a window squeegee and the car was good as new in a jiffy.

There I was, cruising along on AP doing 85mph on a lonely stretch of 93 between Kingman and Las Vegas. SUDDENLY, my driver console flashes red and commands me to take control of the vehicle. AP drops off. Cruise control drops off and I get the ominous warning, ‘Radar visibility has been reduced.’ […] The Demon Spawn of Mothra had attacked me and rendered my autonomy useless. Never fear though, a quick scrape with the window squeegee over the radar opening and my technology was restored! And so ends another battle between Tesla and the forces of evil in the galaxy,” Reddit user Redebo so eloquently said about the incident.

Fans of classic Japanese movies have probably noted that Mothra is a Kaijk movie character from the 1960s - in essence, a giant moth that is at war with humanity. Its modern version apparently has a thing against Teslas.


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