NHTSA Investigates 12th Autopilot-related Crash

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says it will investigate a 12th crash relating to Tesla Motors’ Autopilot system. The automaker has found itself under increased scrutiny as the public grows increasingly weary of technological gaps in today’s advanced driving aids. Truth be told, it’s probably shouldering more of the burden than it needs to. Whereas most driving aids manage to fly beneath the radar, Tesla’s marketing of Autopilot has always framed it as being on the cusp of true autonomy.

It’s always just one over-the-air-update away from genuine self-driving capabilities.

That’s why you don’t read reports about some poor dolt in a Toyota rear-ending someone and the government doing a deep dive on Safety Sense to figure out why. Nobody cares, and there aren’t countless examples of people taking their hands off the wheel of their Camry with confidence after being confused into thinking it could drive itself. But it happens in Tesla models with uncomfortable frequency, even among drivers who really should know better.

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NTSB: Autopilot Engaged at Time of Fatal Florida Tesla Crash

A fatal March collision between a Tesla and a semi trailer that bore a strong resemblance to a crash in the same state three year earlier was more similar than initially thought.

Following the March 1st collision between a Tesla Model 3 and a semi on US 441 in Delray Beach, Florida, in which the car underrode a trailer crossing the divided roadway, the National Transportation Safety Board went to work. A preliminary report is now out, confirming suspicions that, like the 2016 crash, the car was under the guidance of Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assist system at the time of the crash.

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Destination Ditch: Tesla Driver Blames Autopilot for New Jersey Crash [UPDATED]

The police seem convinced a “confused” Autopilot system caused a single-vehicle Tesla crash on a New Jersey highway Sunday, but one has to wonder about the driver’s attention level.

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Vellum Venom Vignette: Pointless Bumpers, Sacrificial Body Parts
Tesla Model X on Autopilot 'Collides' With Phoenix Police Motorcycle

A Tesla Model X driving in semi-autonomous Autopilot mode rear-ended a police motorcycle last week, according to The Arizona Republic.

The incident happened on March 21, when both vehicles stopped at a traffic light after exiting a freeway in Phoenix. The Tesla stopped “briefly” before it began to move forward again. The officer managed to bail before the Tesla bumped the bike.

No damage was reported on either vehicle, since the officer estimated the Model X was only going three miles per hour.

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Freaky Friday: Insanely Fast Mustang Impresses Even Cops; Airborne Deer Menace the Eastern U.S.

Being topographically challenged (for the most part), Oklahoma’s highways serve as a great staging ground to find out exactly what your tricked-out Mustang can do. A young man and his police escorts recently discovered this, and even the cops walked away impressed.

Angry, but impressed.

That, and it’s the horniest time of the year for our many venison-laden friends of the forest, which means impressive roadway acrobatics and unplanned feasts…after the break.

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Awkward: Range Rover Evoque and Landwind X7 Collide

Over the years, various Chinese automakers have [s]been inspired by[/s] produced blatant copies of various mainstream automobiles.

The Landwind X7 appears to be a direct replica of the Range Rover Evoque. So much so, that Jaguar Land Rover recently sued Jiangling Motor, the largest shareholder of Landwind, for copyright infringement and unfair competition. Shockingly, that case is currently in a little bit of a limbo in the Chinese court system.

The worlds of Land Rover and Landwind literally collided today when a Landwind X7 and Range Rover Evoque got into a minor fender-bender. The accident happened in Chongqing, a small city in southwest China with a population roughly twice that of Los Angeles.

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Smart Fortwo Vs. 900-Pound Bull Elk: Who Wins? Do Both Lose?

Elk. Majestic creatures, and delicious, too. You can cut that meat with a fork. But colliding with 900 pounds of it in the smallest car on North American roads is no one’s idea of a picnic.

That’s exactly what happened last week, when a tiny, first-generation Smart Fortwo went head-to-head with a bull elk on a dark British Columbia highway.

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Congress, Crash Victims Want Action on Deadly Seat Back Failures

Modern technology helps vehicles avoid collisions and prevents injury, but the potential for a deadly collision inside the vehicle is being overlooked, some say.

Seat back collapses have killed or seriously injured 100 people since 1989, a CBS News investigation found, and lawmakers in Congress are now joining victims in calling for action.

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Zero Stars: Watch These Indian-Market Cars Prove What Death Traps They Are

Three versions of a Renault hatchback spectacularly failed their frontal crash tests in India, earning them zero out of five stars, even with an available airbag.

It’s food for thought for the 125,000 Indian buyers who placed orders for the subcompact coffin, but the Renault Kwid isn’t alone in flunking Global NCAP testing in that car-hungry country.

The Maruti Suzuki Celerio, Maruti Suzuki Eeco, Mahindra Scorpio and Hyundai Eon also failed to earn a single star, reports Business Standard.

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Snapchat Lawsuit: What Actually Happened on That Georgia Highway?

The trial has all the ingredients needed to garner a nation’s attention: a young female driver, a speeding Mercedes, a dark, rain-slicked highway, a carelessly wielded phone, a potentially dangerous social media app, and a hard-working man left permanently disabled.

The lawsuit against Snapchat and motorist Christal McGee by Wentworth Maynard, the driver of the Mitsubishi Outlander rear-ended by McGee’s C230 outside of Atlanta last September, alleges the social media app’s speed filter played a role in the collision.

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'Can I Have Your License, Registration and Phone, Please'

As the state of New York debates new distracted driving legislation, an Israeli firm is putting the finishing touches on a “textalyzer” device that could rat out drivers for using their phone before a crash.

Israeli mobile forensics firm Cellebrite developed the data-scanning device, according to Ars Technica, which could become the newest — and most controversial — law enforcement tool since the Taser.

Cellebrite, which sounds like a medication for over-sexed honors students, specializes in data extraction and decoding, and boasts of its 15,000-plus military and law enforcement customers on its website. The firm really knows its stuff — it’s generally believed that they helped the FBI hack into the iPhone at the heart of the San Bernardino/Apple controversy.

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Collision Collusion: How Insurance Companies Junk Your Car

Drivers who were in a collision often follow the recommendation of their insurance company when it comes to fixing the car. By doing so, they hope for a more accommodating insurance company. They also are likely to end up with a car that has lost a lot of value. In collusion with insurance companies, low-cost collision shops use knock-off or used parts.

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Oh, Deer

Did you miss “HyperFest” this past weekend? If you did, then you missed out on what is turning out to be a genuinely American tradition: road racing, drifting, beer, open lapping, brawling, bikini contests, and general debauchery, all held at Summit Point’s outstanding Main Course.

The video above shows an incident that had everybody talking: a high-speed meeting with Bambi on the front straight. But wait, as the AutoBiWeek people say, there’s more.

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Ford, Aftermarket Tangle Over Collision Replacement Parts

For some time now, there’s been something of a low-scale war going on between OEMs and aftermarket parts suppliers just below the national media radar. The issue: whether or not aftermarket structural parts are as good as OEM parts. Ford has been a major proponent of the OEM-only approach, making the video you see above in hopes of proving that aftermarket parts aren’t up to the job. But the aftermarket is firing back, and they’ve made their own video in direct response to this one, which you can view after the jump.

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  • Johnster Not feelin' it. The traditional unreliability of turbo engines is a big turn-off, especially in a work truck that (I hope) you'd want to keep on the road for 200,000 miles or more without having major repairs.
  • ToolGuy Car audio is way overpriced.
  • Marty S The original Charger was a 2 door, as was the landmark 68 model. Its funny that some younger commenters are surprised that its not a four door. I never understood why modern Chargers have been four door sedans. I think the best looking Charger was the 68, absolutely perfect in its lines and proportions. This concept really emulates that and I think I think it looks great.
  • Master Baiter The D-bag elites like Al Gore demanding that we all switch to EVs are the type of people who don't actually drive. They get chauffeured around in black Yukon Denalis. Tesla does have a good charging network--maybe someday they will produce a car that doesn't suck.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird As a Challenger GT awd owner I lIke it’s heritage inspired styling a lot. There’s a lot of 66-67 as well as 68-70 Charger in there. It’s refreshing that it doesn’t look like a blob like Tesla, Volt/Bolt, Mach-e BMW I whatever etc. The fact that it’s a hatch makes it even better as a everyday driver thus eliminating the need for a CUV. If it’s well built and has a reliable track record I can see trading up to it in a few years.