Model S Crash Reported In Norway, Role Of Autopilot Uncertain

Sep 21, 2016 08:29 AM EDT | Sovan Mandal

Tesla Model S

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 05: A Tesla model S sits parked outside of a new Tesla showroom and service center in Red Hook, Brooklyn on July 5, 2016 in New York City. The electric car company and its CEO and founder Elon Musk have come under increasing scrutiny following a crash of one of its electric cars while using the controversial autopilot service. Joshua Brown crashed and died in Florida on May 7 in a Tesla car that was operating on autopilot, which means that Brown's hands were not on the steering wheel.
(Photo : Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Tesla Model S is in the news once again for all the wrong reasons. It's another crash for a change, and the Autopilot system is not to be blamed right away.

The particular Model S had hit a road sign head-on and fortunately, no injuries were reported. However, the impact was massive given that the trailer that held aloft the road sign was dragged along 80 meters before both came to a stop.

What is evident is that the Model S was travelling at high speed, which coupled to its huge over two tonnes of weight created enough momentum to drag a trailer that far. However, that the driver came out unscathed from the incident is again ample proof of the safety credentials of the Tesla vehicle. No one else is reported to have been injured either.

While authorities or the witnesses or Tesla are yet to confirm if the car was on Autopilot mode, what has come to the fore is that the driver, a 50-year old from Vestfold, was busy on his phone when the incident occurred, Auto Evolution reported. What is not known is either if the car was even equipped with Autopilot in the first place.

However, that itself raises concerns about the car being on self-driving mode given that the driver wasn't paying attention to driving even though Tesla strictly advises against it. Or the driver could have become too engrossed with his phone for a while that left him with no clue as to what was happening just in front of him on the road.

The Model S has earned quite some notoriety over the functioning of the Autopilot feature with at least two fatalities reported so far. That apart, several Tesla cars had been involved in crashes worldwide, with most of them having to do with Autopilot in some way or the other.

Tesla meanwhile has introduced a major update to its on-board software, which it claims will bring about a quantum jump in the way the vehicle behaved while on Autopilot mode. It will be interesting to see if the authorities or Tesla are able to find out if the latest Model S crash has anything to do with an erring Autopilot system.

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