Tesla Model 3 Autopilot Crash Caught on Video; Elon Musk Speaks on Arrival of True Self-Driving System

Tesla Model 3 Autopilot Crash Caught on Video; Elon Musk Speaks on Arrival of True Self-Driving System
A video uploaded to the Chinese microblogging site Weibo showed a defective autopilot leading to a road crash of a Tesla Model 3. It came just days after Tesla CEO Elon Musk promised an upcoming update to improve the autopilot system. Photo : Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images

A video uploaded on Chinese microblogging site Weibo showed a Tesla Model 3 apparently on autopilot crashing to trees by a sharp curve on a one-lane road.

In the video, as the electric vehicle approached the curve, the autopilot did not work as expected and the driver also did nothing to correct the situation, leading to the crash. The car's navigation system had been aware of the bend on the road, but the Tesla Model 3 was slow to react, prompting the driver to try to take control but it was too late. The car hit the roadside, smashing into the bushes and trees before the driver could do anything.

Driver Might Have False Sense of Security in Tesla Model 3 Autopilot Crash

Autoevolution observed that the $41,190 Tesla Model 3's autopilot was defective, but it said part of the blame also goes to the driver for his overconfidence in blindly trusting the car's advanced driver assistance system (ADAS). But considering how Tesla has touted the vehicle's autopilot system and the driver seemingly not having any problems with the vehicle's ADAS previously, he might have had a false sense of security.

But seeing smooth road conditions and the manageable speed of the vehicle--which should be within legal limits--as well as the car's display showing a clear "30" on the upper left side of the car's navigation screen, Autoevolution said the autopilot "should have done better."

Read Also: Germany Court Says Tesla's Use of 'Autopilot' is 'Misleading' as It Isn't What They Claimed It To Be

This incident reminded Tesla Model 3 owners that driving on autopilot still needs to have the driver's hands on the wheel prepared to take over at a moment's notice, InsideEVs posted. If this incident happened on a busier road with people standing by the roadside, the car could have easily killed them or lead to a crash that would even cause a fatal incident to the driver.

Tesla Model 3 Autopilot Crash: Major Upgrade to Improve Autopilot Delayed for Months

Tesla has actually communicated that message, at least on its website, wherein Model 3 cars would still require the full attention of the driver and have their hands on the wheel and take over at any moment. This "feature-complete" system is called the Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta, which is available in vehicles purchased by early access owners starting in October 2020, including the ill-fated car in the video.

Tesla had made software updates to the system for the FSD Beta, covering vehicles in the early access pool, but the program slowed down in recent months.

A major upgrade would be Tesla CEO Elon Musk's FSD version 9 Beta update, promising to incorporate Tesla Vision system that depends solely on cameras and not the radar sensor currently being used, Electrek reported.

This update has been delayed for months, but Musk assured owners two weeks back that this would be available "no later than June." Now, the deadline has passed.

Tesla had integrated the Tesla Vision to enhance the Autopilot in new Model 3 and Model Y cars in June, but has yet to update on cars with the current FSD Beta.

Musk then responded to Tesla early access owners trolling him on the delays by tweeting that FSD v9 is coming "soon."

This update is a significant step to enhance performance of the "feature complete' FSD, and will feature a "download button" for access to software updates, Electrek revealed.

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