Tesla Model S Slams Into Barrier: Driver Blames Autopilot

Mar 06, 2017 11:10 AM EST | JP Olvido

Tesla is in the news again but this time it is about the company's Model S vehicle. According to a Reddit post, a Model S had rammed into a road barrier while on Autopilot mode.

Tesla Model S on Autopilot slams into road barrier. In the Reddit post, a video shows a Model S vehicle on the left lane of a two-lane highway which appears to be under construction. The Autopilot, it seemed, was not able to recognize the angle of the barrier and kept on driving in the direction where the road had ended.

Although the Tesla Autopilot feature clearly did nothing to prevent the incident, it should be noted that the Autopilot technology is not fully autonomous yet. The electric car manufacturer has advised owners time and again to always be very careful even when on Autopilot and to have both hands on the steering at all times.

According to the driver of the vehicle, Autopilot had not given him any warning. It instead misread the road and eventually hit the construction barrier. "After the airbags deployed there was a bunch of smoke and my car rolled to a grinding stop. Thankfully no one was hurt and I walked away with only bruises," the unnamed driver said.

EV news website Electrek surmises that the vehicle's Forward Collision Warning feature may have not kicked in. "What potentially didn't work is the 'Forward Collision Warning' feature since the driver claims that there was no warning. Some would assume that Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) should have kicked in, but it's actually not designed to engage if there's an alternative and in this case, the vehicle wasn't supposed to brake in order to avoid the barrier," Electrek stated.

This is not the first time that the Autopilot got involved in an accident. The company has been working to improve on the technology continuous. It had in fact updated the system last September to be able to rely more on radar sensors rather than its cameras.

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