Tesla accident video shows exactly how you shouldn't use Autopilot

Elizabeth Williams
March 4, 2017

The accident first came to light when a redditor posted pictures of his thrashed Model S. He claimed his first-generation Autopilot never alerted him to take manual control of the vehicle - the system is supposed to cue drivers to take over when the auto can't handle road conditions - before it "misread the road" and sideswiped the highway barrier.

At one point, the Tesla owner narrowly avoids hitting an oncoming vehicle. However, there were no injuries in the accident, as the driver remained unhurt but blamed the Autopilot for the crash.

As you can see in the GIF above, which was posted to Reddit, from the driver following the Tesla during the incident, the road is clearly under construction.

Tesla not merging correctly hits barrier

They're right. As cool as it is that you can flip on Autopilot on the highway and let the auto handle most of the work, it's not safe to give it free rein, or even take your hands off the wheel. It misread the road and hit the barrier. This comes from Hubris_draws_stuff, and it was also spotted by the fine folks at Electrek. Fortunately, the driver at the time of the accident in question got to walk away from the wreck with a few bruises, and he has a story for everyone willing to read it on Reddit. Two of the more dramatic video postings show Tesla owners struggling to keep the system from hitting curbs, turning onto a side street, and colliding with other vehicles. The video was made from the car's dashcam behind the Model S. The video shows that the auto should have changed its lane, to avoid the accident.

Turns out that the Tesla was autopiloting in what appears to be a construction zone. Had the road being changed with some assistance of the driver, the accident would not have taken place. The Autopilot feature is not autonomous, and it requires the assistance of the drivers to take control of the auto in case of any emergency.

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