One of the most enticing aspects of owning a Tesla Model 3 is the excellent available driver-assist features. However, some Model 3 customers place a bit too much faith in these systems and become easily distracted. In fact, there have been several cases of Tesla owners falling asleep behind the wheel. According to InsideEVs, the owner of a Model 3 trusted the driver-assist system to the point where he crashed into a semi-truck.
Before we dive in, it is worth noting that everyone involved in this accident survived, and there were no serious injuries.
How did the Tesla Model 3 crash?
This Tesla Model 3 story begins as a driver is moving along on a highway with Autopilot enabled. In short, this system allows the vehicle to navigate highways and even change lanes automatically. However, as Tesla notes on its website: “The currently enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.” As a result, the driver is expected to keep their hands on the wheel and pay attention to the road.
As the Tesla Model 3 approaches an underpass, there is a semi-truck ahead with its left indicator illuminated. As the vehicle in front of the Tesla overtakes the truck, the semi-truck begins to make its way to the left lane. At this exact moment, the autopilot-enabled Model 3 is cruising along in the same lane. What makes this story interesting is that we don’t see the Model 3 swerve or slow down as the truck moves into the fast lane in the video.
As you’d expect, the semi-truck clips the side of the Tesla Model 3, sending it into the grass center divider. After the impact, we see the Tesla swerving from side to side as the driver struggled to regain control. To make matters worse, the EV’s doors became stuck, trapping the driver inside.
Was the Tesla driver distracted?
While the video covered by InsideEVs offers little information, we can deduce at least a few things. The first thing is that the semi-truck had been indicating that it would make a move for quite some time. Despite this, the Tesla Model 3 driver did not see the indicator.
Secondly, as the truck moves into the left lane, the Model 3 does not change its course or slow down. Although it is not confirmed, this likely means the driver was not paying enough attention. An enormous semi-truck is not easy to miss if you’re looking.
Unfortunately, there is no official statement as to what the Tesla Model 3 driver was doing at the time of the crash. However, we can clearly see that the Autopilot system failed to detect the enormous truck from the video. Fortunately, both drivers were able to escape without serious injury.
Are any Teslas fully autonomous?
It is worth reiterating that no Tesla Model 3 or other vehicles from the EV carmaker can drive fully autonomously. Despite this, reckless owners have routinely tried to find ways to trick the Autopilot system into registering that the driver is paying attention. While this may make for a great YouTube video, it could lead to real-world consequences. As a result, you’ll want to read the fine print before you trust your life to a driver assist system.