By on April 19, 2021

 

Tesla Model S Grey - Image: Tesla

A crash involving a Tesla Model S in Texas killed two passengers.

We say “passengers” instead of “occupants” because it appears there was no one in the driver’s seat at the time of the crash.

At least, that’s what authorities claim.

“I can tell you our investigators are certain no one was in the driver’s seat at the time of the crash,” Constable Mark Herman, who is in charge of the Harris County police precinct that handled the crash, told CNN today.

The crash happened in Spring, Texas, a suburb of Houston. The bodies were found in the front passenger seat and the rear seat of the car. The victims were 69 and 59 years old and their names have not been released as of this writing.

The car, a 2019 Model S, apparently wrecked by failing to negotiate a curve before going off-road and hitting trees. Herman told CNN that evidence suggested the car was traveling at a “high rate of speed”.

A 2019 Model S would likely have Tesla’s Autopilot hands-free assistance system and could’ve had the company’s “Full-Self Driving” driver-assist system. Despite the names, neither system actually offers full-self driving, aka level 5 autonomy.

It’s easy to speculate that the driver didn’t understand how these systems work and a failure of autonomous systems led to the crash, but we simply don’t know the cause of the crash right now. We don’t even know if the car had FSD.

Either way, Tesla has come under fire for selling FSD as full-self driving when it actually isn’t — it’s a level 2 system, not level 5. In this author’s view, that criticism is fair, regardless of what caused this specific crash.

Telsa boss CEO did tweet claims about Autopilot’s safety over the weekend, though it’s unclear if his tweet has any relation to the incident.

Autopilot does require the driver’s seatbelt to be buckled before it can work.

The crash resulted in a car fire that took four hours and 32,000 gallons of water to quelch.

While the National Transportation Safety Board has not yet decided whether it will or won’t investigate, CNN reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did assign a Special Crash Investigation team to find out more about what happened.

We’ll update this post if and when further information becomes available.

[Image: Tesla]

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92 Comments on “Authorities Claim No One Was in the Driver’s Seat in Tesla Crash...”


  • avatar
    Mike Beranek

    Here’s an idea- a car shouldn’t move unless a person is sitting in the driver’s seat and presses the accelerator.
    There, problem solved.

    • 0 avatar

      What you are saying is an old 20th century thinking. Wake up, we live in 21st century.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      79 vehicles sold by Ford Motor Company were involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes in the state of Texas in the month of December 2019.

      (Ask me how I know:)
      https://cdan.nhtsa.gov/query

      But of course none of them are worthy of discussion or concern. Let’s just focus on the Teslas. [Every other motor vehicle is perfectly safe.]

      • 0 avatar
        Tim Healey

        We focus on Teslas because these types of crashes may or may not involve autonomous tech, which is new to the market.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        And how many of those crashes involving Fords have the police that investigated the crash claimed that they are certain that no one was in the driver’s seat when the crash occurred?

        • 0 avatar
          ToolGuy

          There is every reason to believe that the Ford vehicles included the safety feature proposed by Mike Beranek.

          If you do something stupid in a Ford and die, it is [clearly] your own fault. If you do something stupid in a Tesla and die, it is [clearly] Elon Musk who murdered you (with malice aforethought). (Alert: This paragraph contains sarcasm.)

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Fords can’t go full autonomous, “self driving” or misused in such a manner. They’re also not promoted as such.

            There’s fixes on the shelf, so why not use them?

  • avatar

    Unsafe at Any Speed applies more than ever!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    They broke the law, overrode Tesla’s interlocks, lied about remaining vigilant when the GUI requested it, and ignored the shortcomings of any Level 2 AV.

    Nothing to see here.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      You can say that about a ton of stuff to include guns in mass shootings, Alcoholic Beverages, Ilicit drugs, and any number of other items yet we still pass a ton of laws to ensure dumb people are less likely to do dumb things.

      Could they have done this in a competitor’s vehicle with a similar system? In the case of GM’s system, the answer seems to be no. Is this happening more per mile than in other systems? Those systems have far fewer miles logged, but is there a reason for that? These are questions Tesla needs to answer or government agencies are going to start telling them the answer and they may not like it.

    • 0 avatar
      Imagefont

      Pretty weak interlocks if the car will move without a driver. I recall another news story where the sole occupant of a Tesla was sitting in the backseat. Perhaps Tesla should devise some driver interlocks that ACTUALLY WORK.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It was only a matter of frickin’ time. All of the stupid Autopilot Teslas need to be recalled immediately, stop sale, banned from the road, etc, until equipped to recognize when a “driver” isn’t paying attention, nor fully awake, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Not gonna happen until one such Tesla kills 10 children in the school bus.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Autopilot is equipped to recognize that the driver isn’t paying attention — at least it was when I drove a Model Y the other week.

      These folks circumvented multiple safety measures:

      1) Steering wheel input test (just like Honda Sensing). If you don’t touch the wheel frequently, the car will pull over and stop.

      2) Seatbelt — if the seatbelt is removed, the car will pull over and stop almost immediately.

      3) Driver’s seat weight sensor. Tesla’s have them.

      4) Some versions of the autopilot use a driver-facing camera to tell if the driver is paying attention. People have been kicked out of the FSD beta for not paying attention while the car is in motion.

      How many more layers of safety do you think are required?

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Why would it be just “some versions”. Then recall the ones without it. The lockouts should be super redundant, not easily tricked, fooled or bypassed.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          By “some versions”, I mean “recent versions” of FSD-beta.

          It may also included in recent versions of Autopilot, but I haven’t double-checked that detail.

          Either way, bypassing these kind of safety measures says “I believe I know more about this system than the engineers who designed it, and I am willing to be a test pilot.” That’s not a statement I’m willing to make without months of engineering-analysis.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Regardless, the perception is the cars are “self driving”. The interlocks don’t change that mindset.

            They’ll tell you it’s just junk put there by the lawyers.

            It’s plain wrong, but “self driving” is a common belief among owners.

            I have a sneaking suspicion where it came from, but the question is, how do we fix it?

            Fixing the people is about impossible, so that just leaves the cars, which are simple to fix. But it has to be done right.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    Worth mentioning that something like Super Cruise wouldn’t have done this, not because it wouldn’t miss a curve, but because it forces you to be in the driver’s seat and to actually watch the road. Probably less likely to miss the curve than the Tesla though, given that the map data knows that the curve is there, even if the cameras and radar miss something.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    Tesla’s Autopilot works well until it doesn’t work at all. Then, you wreck. There was a similar accident near San Francisco a year or two ago. A Model 3, running under Autopilot, became confused by degraded lane markings. It split the difference at a Y and ran into a Jersey barrier with fatal consequences for the “driver”. I have little sympathy for the guy. He had experienced similar problems in the area and reported them to Tesla but continued to rely on Autopilot.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      I have a great deal of sympathy. Him, like the others were fed a bunch of Horse Sh!t by a con artist. Most of the victims were professionals, highly educated, etc.

      Basically they don’t have a clue about cars, not enthusiasts, don’t do car blogs and could not care any less on the topic. But they’re Elon’s target audience.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        I don’t know man…if you don’t know about your car, you probably shouldn’t go around bypassing the safety features. I agree it has been oversold, but c’mon man.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          I meant the guy in San Fran. But although foolish, the dude that bypassed the lockouts, and it was too easy, he (and or his copilot [?]), no doubt thought it was perfectly safe and the lockout were silly.

          I cringe when I watch vids of Autopilot users filming their drives, talking into the cam/phone, totally not watching the road (at speed).

          It’s a crime, the monster Elon created, the way he went about it.

  • avatar
    sentience

    Morons.

    This was precisely the reason both Audi and Google decided to step back in their autonomous vehicle research.

    Audi could have had the first Level 3 car to market with their A8. They explicitly chose not to, after reviewing for possible liability issues with crashes/accidents.

    Part of Google’s decision to kill the Google car and spin off Waymo was due to the behavior of their test drivers. They explicitly told their drivers to pay attention while testing the system, and noted multiple instances of those testers doing intentionally distracted behaviors including texting while driving, applying makeup, using a laptop, and falling asleep.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Most interesting part in this article is

    “The crash resulted in a car fire that took four hours and 32,000 gallons of water to quelch.”

    A car that has no gasolina!

    • 0 avatar
      sentience

      Oh, that part is easy. Car battery. Electric car, massive lithium battery.

      Tesla actually advises firefighters to let the car burn itself out, as the battery still has stored energy, can reignite after being put out.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Basically, typical American vehicle, like Sherman tank. Once hit, you have 5 seconds to leave or you burn.
        Gonna be interesting to see new ecological impact when these things will leak, burn, etc en-mass

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Yes, we should drive Russian nuclear cars instead. I hear they have many safety features that the operators can bypass as well, sometimes resulting in fires.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            Whats wrong with your vice-president? Was she just having another uncontrollable bout of laugh looking at your comment?

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Maybe. What’s the matter with Navalny? Oh yeah, we don’t know because you won’t give him access to a doctor or allow your press to talk about it. Yay Freedom!

            Putin is such an enlightened leader.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            Art, are you living in the cage? Why you’re asking me what happen to Navalny? Why do I need to follow every criminal when he/she is in jail?

            I am more curious what is happening with 400 Americans who happen to walk into a capitol building and now risk getting 7 years in prison for “walking and taking the pictures”

            And I am thinking, what am I going to do when NKVD aka FBI will come to my house. Surrender like a sheep or give them last battle.

            But If you curious about Navalny, I can tell you – he has back pain and agreed to treatment. He also has access to the internet from his jail and constantly posts something. But I am not sure what is your interest in this guy? And what does it have to do with Putin?

            My curiosity is in this – why Maxine Waters is not arrested yet? She lead the rioters who carried “death to america” banners. In Russia people like this would be closed down. And I totally support that. In Ukraine they closed down 3 tv channels that were merely suggesting that Ukraine should be friendly with Russia. And American embassy applauded this move.

            Still, not sure, why do you think that Navalny is somebody? His organization was shut down.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            So what would dear old Vlad do if 400 Russians “walked into” the Kremlin in a show of support for his political opponents? I think the Navalny example becomes a best case scenario.

            Of course this wouldn’t happen. That would require an election Putin could lose and for all the talk of “rigged elections” this is exactly what you get in Mother Russia. That or laws that Vlad can just stay in power.

            Pity Russia doesn’t do that social credit stuff like China…you could probably have a car collection bigger than Jay Leno’s.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            Art,
            don’t let TV to brainwash you. Putin does not win elections because it is (totally) rigged. Jut like in US, it is not totally clean from region to region. Russia, however, always has foreign monitors to make sure it is transparent to the world. And known instances when entire batches of ballots being disqualified. Putin wins elections because of smart propaganda management. Next most popular guy after Putin is a communist with incredibly hard anti-American rhetoric. Is this what you want?

            So what would happen if people got into Kremlin? 15 days is maximum for disobedience, without criminal record as well. Now, if they hurt someone, possible a year or less in jail. If they kill someone may be 2 years.

            Russian punishments are extremely soft. Even Navalny was on parole, no – on 2 paroles. Wouldn’t in America breaking 1 parole mean automatic jail? Bernie Madoff got 150 years in jail. In Russia this would be 4-5 years.

            Few weeks ago rioters totally destroyed office of Ukrainian president. And what? Nothing
            https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-56471292

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      I believe that I have read that one of the European countries has a staged roll-away container filled with water that is to be used for battery fires in EV’s/BEV’s. Should one of these vehicles have a battery fire incident or be damaged to where a battery incident is likely, that local fire department transports the water filled roll-away to the site of the incident and utilizes a crane to lift the vehicle of concern into the water filled container.

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      Sounds more like the water kept the fire from spreading to the trees while the battery burned itself out. Maybe prolonging the process … 4 hours is a long time for a fire.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      The 32,000 gallons of water and 4 hours story isn’t true. It’s a result of sloppy reporting like the voltswagen thing and numerous other items. Maybe the word “Truth” should be removed from the site. You need to rename it:

      https://www.houstonchronicle.com/neighborhood/woodlands/article/Woodlands-fire-chief-says-Tesla-fire-example-of-16113029.php

      • 0 avatar
        bullnuke

        Actually, the 4 hours of of continued application of water “simply cooling the car as the batteries continued to have a chain reaction due to damage.” did occur as stated by the involved fire chief. The need for continued intermittent application of water during that period is, in fact, true. It could easily be argued that, without this extended application of water for cooling during the 4 hour period, continued runaway chemical reaction in the battery pan could easily have been a re-ignition event resulting in a further active fire event. Yes, perhaps the “sloppy reporting” was click bait (somewhat normal here on TTAC). I have fought fires in my past involving various substances. Fires resulting from chemical reactions such as this battery fire are the most difficult and stubborn to completely extinguish and prevent from re-starting. The rapid oxidation chemical reaction of a petroleum fire that requires oxygen is much, much different from an exothermic runaway chemical reaction that releases large quantities of heat and cannot be suppressed by deprivation of oxygen – the good old Fire Triangle does not apply here. As that fire chief stated in the article, “we need to keep up with technology”.

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        The Truth About Clickbait?

  • avatar
    Verbal

    Darwin Award candidates.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    13 yo killed
    george floyd killed
    2 passengers killed

    There is something good about all these bad news. 3 criminals and 1 accomplice are taken off the street forever. Think positive.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      This is a morally bankrupt comparison.

      George Floyd was murdered by cops-gone-wild in broad daylight in front of a crowd of his neighbors, who were pleading for his life.

      There is way to pretend that is morally similar someone failing to maintain control of their expensive car and hitting a tree.

      I recommend a remedial morality course for slavuta.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Soviets gave me the morality courses. I joined America where morality is non-existent and I like it.

        In case you missed it, Floyd was pumped on drugs and this is why he died.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          Floyd died because a guy knelt on his neck for 9 minutes, and prevented him from breathing. It happened in broad daylight, in front of dozens of witnesses, and was recorded from multiple angles.

          The only question is whether police officers can get away with murder in the United States of America.

          I’d prefer to live in a nation where police officers are not allowed to get away with murder.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta


            Baker’s autopsy report from May 2020 found that Floyd died of “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression.” Baker’s autopsy listed “other significant conditions” including “arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; [and] recent methamphetamine use.”

            When asked what he believed caused Floyd’s death, he pointed to what he called “severe underlying heart disease”
            —-

            Moral of the story: be healthy if you plan to commit crime

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            If a cop uses unnecessary force, it just a matter of time until one of his/her victims can’t handle it, for health/physical reasons, and dies in custody.

            If the unnecessary force is ruled a crime, then it’s murder/manslaughter, what ever the case.

            We still don’t know if Floyd committed a crime, and we wouldn’t know for some time, but it’s irrelevant anyway.

            “It’s “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” in the USA

            Except there’s nothing to indicate Floyd would have died without police “contact”.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Even other cops in the Floyd case are saying it was excessive. That is something I have never seen.

          We were trained in detainee operations in preparation for an Iraq deployment back in my Army days. You used the force necessary to bring the person under control. When that point was reached, you no longer applied force. You didn’t get a cheap shot in or to rub his face on the cement because he made you run him down in 130 degree heat.

          We didn’t get to shoot them for “noncompliance” either unless the noncompliance involved them pointing a gun at us.

          Seems to me US Citizens interacting with law enforcement in their community should at least be afforded the same courtesy we give folks in countries we are fighting wars in.

          I’d have gone to Leavenworth had I sat on a guys neck that was no longer posing a threat and he died. I’m not asking anything from cops that wasn’t asked of me.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            “Seems to me US Citizens interacting with law enforcement in their community should at least be afforded the same courtesy we give folks in countries we are fighting wars in.”

            Like what? Waterboarding? This is what puzzles me. Americans commit same crimes over and over again, in every war. But then they come back and pose as they are most humanistic military force ever

            Julian Assange is arrested for what? – exposing US crimes. John McCain was enraged (or at least acted as) about what? – military torture. Do you need me to point at John’s Kerry tapes? How about Korean “kill squads” that operated with Americans in Vietnam? In Iraq US used uranium in their ammo and thousands are still dying of cancer because that land is laced with radioactivity. In Japan, everyone knows about a couple of nukes but not everyone knows that US killed nearly 1,000,000 by firebombing tens of cities. Tokyo alone lost 80-100K people.

            This is may be one time when US faced a real criminal, eliminated him and now get abused for this.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            No, Jullian Assange was arrested for rape. Civillized nations frown upon that.

            And notice how we as a nation had an open debate about waterboarding after the practice became known and decided to not do it? Notice how people abusing prisoners at Abu Graib and other similar incidents went to Prison themselves?

            We are far from perfect as a fighting force but we go out of our way to protect civillians…sometimes to our own detriment. And when someone doesn’t they typically face consequences. Heck we are still rooting out and disciplining people from Vietnam as stuff comes to light. Prosecuted a lot of Afghan war crimes lately from that little crapshow? Yeah, old Afghanis remember, even if you don’t.

            And depleted Uranium? C’mon…most people having issue from DU rounds are the poor schmucks that were loading them.

            WWII was 70 years ago. When figting people that are stuffing people into gas chambers, indiscriminatly bombing allied cities and doing things like the Japanese were doing in China it can get messy. That is not really an applicable example to modern warfare. Weapons have moved beyond that. And like Russia has clean hands lol. You guys were shooting your own people in the back as they retreated and wouldn’t even sign on to the Geneva Convention.

            With respect to waterboarding though, we were doing it to our own air crew members and other people attending various military schools for years to show them what they could expect if captured or interogated. Nobody made a fuss then. Still we had the debate and decided it wasn’t something we wanted to do. I’m good with that.

            But yeah, looking at how we prosecute wars compared to historical examples, we do alright.

            Do love how you leave out the actions of the Red Army in Afghanistan particularly and how your own security aparatus was turned inward and its actions. KGB was just a circle of accountability, right?

            And why do you care so much about our internal politics. Got it…you don’t like some of them. I don’t like Maxine Waters. Know what, she isn’t my representative and her behavior is between her and those living in her district. I know it is a bit of a foreign concept to you, but that is how a representative democracy works. Most people hate Congress. But they tend to be fine with their own representative.

          • 0 avatar
            Tim Healey

            @C5 Is Alive — regardless of how Floyd died, your language here is unnecesarily inflammatory. Consider yourself warned.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            “I don’t like Maxine Waters. Know what, she isn’t my representative”

            Then why she goes into a different state to incite violence there? You are old american soldier and she is one who promoted Castro regime. I love America. Not the stupidity that it is now but real America. And persons like waters have no place in America. But in current “America” sure.

            “you leave out the actions of the Red Army”
            Tip: Red Army ended circa 1943 when old style, like late Russian Empire style insignia returned and very word Red Army was removed. Now, there was a Soviet Army.

            Like what actions? That soldiers shelled the village first then walked into it because they knew beard guys are in it? This is not the same as cutting ears off Vietnamese.

            “KGB, apparatus, inward..”
            KGB would always get you by the @$$ and and talk to you first, try to make you work for them. KGB not same as Stalin’s NKVD. You don’t understand the difference. FBI today is total NKVD. Because like the NKVD (I am not talking about foreign intelligence units) FBI today serves political needs of those in power. May be you forgot Comey, Strzok, dossier, and all the nonsense. The president of the US could just tell FBI, let those people from the “Capitol walk” go. Only prosecute those who broke stuff. No. This is a political thing. NKVD- this is what FBI is today.

            KGB on the other hand has not done anything like that. They were mostly busy subverting America, spying technologies (GRU used to be division of KGB). And they had a unit that was “protecting soviet people” from the influence of the west.

            But all of it is nothing vs CIA. CIA is like a country within country. CIA has its own game and US presidents make important decisions into which they get pushed by CIA. Iraq war, anyone? CIA sold drugs to Americans. Come on. KGB is a bunch of polite men vs CIA. And KGB was always under control of the government and not vise-versa, like CIA in America.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            Art, you are not watching the WHOLE video. “the 9 minutes” you’re talking about came AFTER another 9 minutes of Floyd resisting. There wasn’t a total of 9 minutes. Total was 18 minutes.
            https://nypost.com/2020/08/10/new-police-footage-shows-first-complete-view-of-george-floyds-death/

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            “No, Jullian Assange was arrested for rape.”

            The charge was removed long ago and he is still in jail. From the start the charge was fake. We knew this was political

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Assange’s charges were likely contrived, anyone beyond kindergarten could see that.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          “We still don’t know if Floyd committed a crime, and we wouldn’t know for some time, but it’s irrelevant anyway. ”

          Really? The store clerk at the trial, black dude btw, said, Floyd gave him a fake $20. Besides… If medical examiner found drugs in his system, does it make him possessing illegal drug, even if the drug is inside of him?

          Ok, lets pretend Floyd did not commit a crime but police decided to take him in. Why did he endup under the car? That is because he was resisting for 9 minutes and police decided to control him.

          I was stopped 20 times. One time for driving without a license plate, and one time for having a fake inspection stickers on the windshield (still angry with the dude who promised they be real). Both things are a minor crime, one could say, but nothing happened. Cop told me – come out, I came out. Cop told me – go back to your car, I went back to my car. May be if instead of going to my car I would go to his, I would be dead too.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Watch the video. He had a knee on his neck for nine minutes…that is far different than “he was resisting for nine minutes”

            So I feel like you should just watch the beginning of freaking Law and Order and you’d have a better understanding of our system. It sums it up nicely for a TV Drama.

            “In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important, groups: the police, who investigate crime; and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.”

            Add to that a jury that determines guilt or innocence and a judge that insures fair proceedings.

            We don’t have the KGB running around scooping people up, determining their guilt and carrying out sentence. Law enforcement has one job here…that is arresting the perpetrator in a manner that doesn’t violate their rights. Chauvin exceeded that mandate. Floyd was controlled. That is where it is. Saying “He is a scumbag so who cares what the cop did or didn’t do to him” is outside of how our system functions. Cops do not have the authority to dole out punishment.

          • 0 avatar
            Old_WRX

            Whatever the verdict is in the Chauvin trial I think they are going to riot in multiple cities. Why would they riot if they get the verdict they want? Because I imagine they have already staged for all those riot and, If they went to all that trouble, I would guess they’ll riot anyway. This may well be a major step in their plans. Oh, well, we’ll probably know later this week.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    Real men don’t read the instructions….

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    You knew eventually this was going to happen to someone somewhere. There’s a reason why we have warning labels on everything!

  • avatar
    dal20402

    And this is why you shouldn’t advertise a feature that is in no way “full self-driving” as “Full Self-Driving.”

  • avatar
    aja8888

    This happened a mile from my house. Screwed up traffic for several hours. I saw the flames from my back deck, and they were as high as the trees. Those two guys must have looked like wet charcoal after 32,000 gallons of water was poured over them.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Anyone want to take bets on when the first fatal “crashed in Tesla while screwing” incident happens?

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Tesla ought to rename its system “Co-Pilot.”

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    “Hold my beer and watch this…”

    Darwinism at work.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Is it possible they were not wearing seat belts and got throw from the driver’s seat? Because one on the passenger side and one in back with nobody driving doesn’t make any sense on planet Earth. Maybe they tried to climb out of the car after the crash but died in the fire? Even with the car driving itself climbing into the back or passenger side isn’t an easy task.

    I’m just trying to picture a scenario in which nobody was at the wheel. Fully reclined and sleeping? Sure… very likely in fact, but to get going someone had to be in the driver’s seat then move afterwards – which defies all logic.

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      Latest I read was that one wife said the two guys had been talking about Autopilot all evening, then went out for a drive. If they hit a tree, then both should have been schmushed against the dash, not with one found in the back seat. Physics doesn’t work like that. Objects in motion tend to keep in motion — inertia was what they called it after Newton took time off from alchemy to ponder why things fall from above to the ground. Or was it Leibniz? Nah, he invented calcule-a-mus before Isaac’s fumbling attempts at the same thing. If they’d both been on a FB group, they could have complemented each other, using the universal language of mathematics. Or Google Translate. At least Tiger proved something useful — a Genesis GV80 or 90 or whatever SUV couldn’t take that particular curve at 90, at least with his grade of driving skill.

      In this latest Tesla case, probably two dopes who watched a YouRubeYou how-to video — how to get around Tesla’s safety protocols and not keep your hands on the wheel while barreling down the highway. Yee haw, Mom! Lookee here, no hands! Pure genius at work.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Might have been a “hold my beer” type moment.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    Tesla always talks about how safe their cars are in a crash, but after a severe crash they always seem to burn to the ground uncontrollably. I’d say this is the opposite of safety. Then they defend themselves and site vague statistics about gas powered cars catching fire at a higher rate, which is meaningless because there’s no context about age, vehicle type, or the circumstances as to why they caught fire. The fact is, if you hit a Tesla hard enough, it’s chances of going up in flames appear to be 100%. Imagine a rollover accident where the occupant survives and then is incinerated in the inevitable fire? To me this is unacceptable and gas powered cars don’t do this. Your car should not be a rolling Molotov cocktail.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Just buy and drive a GM vehicle. Zero crashes, zero emissions and even zero congestion:

      https://media.gm.com/media/cn/en/gm/bcportal.html/currentVideoId/6102822741001

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Below what speed is a vehicle not permitted to catch on fire after hitting a tree?

      60 mph, 90 mph, 120 mph?

      “…if you hit a Tesla hard enough”

      Only that brand?

  • avatar
    mor2bz

    one in 484,000 compared to one in 4,190,000?

    that is closer to 1-9 than it is to 1-10.

    more genius every day.

  • avatar
    mor2bz

    I’ve got it! J. Bond-style ejection seats when impact force are
    high enough to ignite the battery. Pay up Elon.

  • avatar
    aja8888

    Where’s the Musk robo taxis? I can’t wait. But it will be Uber for me!

  • avatar
    Snooder

    While I know everybody is salivating over the idea of Tesla screwing up or whatever, I got a different angle.

    What if this was a mob hit.

    I mean, in the typical scenario where you kill a guy but want it to look like an accident, you stick em in the car, drive it into a lake, and try to jump out in time.

    But what if you could just program the car to crash itself? No evidence, and everybody will be too busy blaming Elon Musk to look into it. Just sayin…

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The NHTSA needs to come down on Tesla like it’s any other brand, Toyota for example.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I might argue it should be the SEC, for misleading advertising.

      Autopilot is a Level 2 system and makes *no claims* beyond that. Any safety problems with it are the driver’s fault because the driver is supposed to – and has agreed to – remain vigilant while Autopilot is engaged.

      NHTSA can’t say there is a safety issue on a system that doesn’t claim to operate without driver vigilance.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        There’s a lot of confusion out there, terms like autonomy, self driving, etc.

        Doug DeMuro should know better and he calls Teslas “self driving”. The common man, even lawyers, doctors and such think they’re getting full autonomy.

        It’s unknown how the sales pitch goes but it’s irrelevant.

        The NHTSA has a whole lot to say on how vehicles are made, safety interlocks/protocols/etc, protecting us from ourselves no doubt, but that’s their job. They need to step in and fix this.

  • avatar
    mcs

    BlueCruise or whatever they call it. By the way, autopilot wasn’t enable when the crash occurred and the car didn’t have FSD.

  • avatar
    mcs

    There’s a decent article on the Car & Driver site about the Houston accident:

    https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a36175793/tesla-model-s-crash-texas-autopilot/

  • avatar
    mcs

    “The crash resulted in a car fire that took four hours and 32,000 gallons of water to quelch.”

    More garbage reporting. Apparently, that’s not true. Here is more accurate information from the Houston Chronicle. An organization that employs actual journalists:

    “Buck also said contrary to some reports in the media, the Tesla involved in the April 17 fire did not burn out of control for four hours.”

    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/neighborhood/woodlands/article/Woodlands-fire-chief-says-Tesla-fire-example-of-16113029.php

  • avatar
    Shockrave Flash Has Crashed

    I’m skeptical that there was no driver. Occam’s razor, otherwise a lot of safety features had to be defeated and the motivation for two people riding in the back seat needs to be explained.

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