According to a report by local TV station KHOU, this Model S entered a curve at high speed, could not turn, and jumped out of the road. It is not known if the driving assistance system ‘Autopilot’ was turned on at the time of the accident.
The Autopilot installed in Tesla vehicles and the Full Self-Driving (FSD) function that adds more advanced driving support to Autopilot are beyond the range of automatic driving level 2 and it’s just a driving assistance system that requires you to always be in the driver’s seat, keep an eye on your surroundings, and be in a position to avoid danger at any time.
However, it has been pointed out that it may be misunderstood as fully autonomous driving if a stranger asks, perhaps because of its name. In fact, there have been reports of drivers who neglected to hold the steering wheel or fell asleep in the driver’s seat as a result of over-trusting the technology.
In addition, there have been multiple fatal accidents while using Autopilot.
In addition, it has been pointed out that the large lithium-ion batteries installed in electric vehicles may ignite violently when destroyed due to their structure, and there are cases where the rushed fire brigade is not prepared to respond to fires caused by batteries.
In this accident, a fire broke out from Model S after colliding with a tree, and it took four hours for the fire brigade to completely extinguish the fire. It is also reported that the fire brigade inquired Tesla how to extinguish the fire because the fire did not go out too much.
In the past, Tesla has had an accident where a sudden fire broke out from the Model S battery pack. A battery fire with a violent flame spouting can only be left until it burns out if it cannot be extinguished even with a large amount of water, and even if it looks like it has burned out, the remaining cells may suddenly reignite, so fire fighting is also possible. It may be difficult to deal with it.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said in March that it began investigating dozens of accidents caused by Tesla vehicles. And while at least three Tesla car crashes have been reported recently, according to Reuters, Tesla CEO Elon Musk hopes to make huge profits from FSD software in January. “I am confident that autonomous driving will be more reliable than humans this year,” he said.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.