Tesla Autopilot Suffers Second Crash, And No One Knows Why
Tesla is at the forefront of automotive technology and innovation, particularly with its revolutionary Autopilot mode. However, the feature is far from foolproof, as we’re now learning of the second Autopilot-related crash so far this summer. Sadly, the first crash, which occurred back in May (although it only came to light about a week ago), was fatal. Luckily, this latest crash was less disastrous, although still troubling.
Reportedly, a driver on the Pennsylvania Turnpike put the Tesla into Autopilot mode, at which point the car went rogue, clipping a guardrail and veering across multiple lanes of traffic. The Tesla then overturned and came to a stop in the traffic median. The driver and the passenger in the Model X were unharmed, although debris from the car struck other cars on the turnpike.
What’s strange is that there doesn’t appear to have been any specific cause for the crash. The Pennsylvania State Police note that “there is not enough evidence to indicate that the autopilot feature malfunctioned.” Granted, this can’t bode well for Tesla Motors, considering they’re currently under investigation by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration for the first crash.
As for the driver of the Tesla in this particular crash, Dale Vukovich of the Pennsylvania State Police said he would probably issue a citation to the Tesla driver, although he isn’t exactly sure what the charges would be, at this moment. So if this wasn’t already a strange enough story as it is, there ya go.
We’re in uncharted territory with self-driving cars, and any new technology is going to have its faults. But it’s scary to think just how easily this could have turned into a tragedy. Of course, as noted, authorities still don’t seem entirely convinced that this is even the Autopilot’s fault. So while Tesla still has a lot of work to do in perfecting this technology, they might not actually be on the hook for this one. Hopefully, this is the last we hear of any crashes for a while.