If he wasn’t paying attention, more than likely his Tesla would’ve veered towards that crash barrier.
A Tesla Model X owner shared a near-collision with an impact attenuator, one that eerily resembled an Autopilot failure that fatally took the life of another Tesla Model X owner in Mountain View two years ago.
According to Tesla Model X owner @Apextrader3 and a video he shared on a now deleted Reddit thread on /r/teslamotors, while travelling with AutoPilot engaged in Irvine, Calif on the 405, his AutoPilot system, when presented with a new set of lines, planted itself in between lines that would’ve brought his Tesla into a collision course with an impact attenuator.
Check out the video for yourself below.
My X Tried to Kill Me Today! A reminder for all you auto pilot drivers – the Tesla is the most advance vehicle on the road, but it’s not where it needs to be just yet. Keep your hands on the wheel. SoCal 405 North @ 55 during sunset. from r/teslamotors
With the sun setting, it was presumably hard for this Tesla Model X owner to normally see. Whether or not the sun played a factor in this situation is for engineers who will eventually dig through the data to decide.
The slow lane on the 405 in this location splits off between staying on the 405 or exiting off an overpass. That means the new exit lane forms another quasi-lane/island in the middle of the two lanes where no car is supposed to travel.
The Tesla Model X AutoPilot system plants itself in that middle area and, at that point, he corrects to the right with little room to spare.
Here’s what that impact attenuator looks like on Google Maps.
Presumably filled with water, they can only do so much to stop a Tesla Model X travelling at highway speeds.
The owner comments,
I don’t normally drive at this time in the evening so driving into the sun is unusual for me. I had seen a post of another Tesla owner recreating the fatal accident on the 101 (apple engineer) shortly after the accident a few years ago. That video came to mind when I encountered somewhat similar conditions so both hands went to the wheel. Normally I have one have on the bottom for the 20 second bump.
Hopefully, someone else will see this and will pop into their head when needed.
A /r/TeslaMotors moderator linked this relevant video below showing a real-time reenactment of the subsection of the road where that aforementioned Apple engineered passed away.
Tesla engineers, journalists, and, most Tesla owners have been harping on staying alert at all times and keeping your hands ready to steer at a moment’s notice.
This latest incident is further proof that, even with AutoPilot on, your undivided attention is needed behind the wheel.
These incidents come off the heels of Elon Musk bragging that Level 5 self driving cars, where you can literally doze off behind the wheel without repercussion, is around the corner.
That’s hard to believe considering these Level 2 systems are arguably still in BETA despite what the press releases say.