The driver of the 2021 Tesla Model S told California authorities that the car was in “full self-driving mode” when the technology malfunctioned, causing eight cars to crash on the road. San Francisco Bay Bridge last month.
The plane crash on Thanksgiving Day resulted in two juveniles being hospitalized and led to long delays on the bridge. The incident was announced in a police report on Wednesday.
It’s the latest in a series of accidents blamed on Tesla technology. Chief Executive Officer of the Electric Vehicle Industry, Elon Muskhas heavily promoted its “Full Self-Driving” (FSD) program, sold as a $15,000 add-on to Tesla vehicles, but faces legal, regulatory and public scrutiny.
After the San Francisco accident, the driver told the police that the FSD program was broken.
The police report said the car was traveling at 55 mph when it changed lane but then suddenly spun off, slowing the car to about 20 mph. This resulted in a collision with another vehicle Tesla And a chain reaction of crashes, according to Reuters.
However, the police were unable to determine whether the software was in operation or whether the driver’s account was accurate. The report was made public after records were requested.
The incident occurred hours after Musk announced that Tesla would make its FSD software available to anyone in North America who requested it. Previously, the system was only offered to drivers with high safety ratings.
The police report stated that if the FSD had malfunctioned, the driver must have taken control manually. Tesla has repeatedly said that its advanced self-driving technology requires “active driver supervision” and that its vehicles are “not self-driving.”
Drivers are also warned when installing FSD that he “may do the wrong thing at the worst of times”.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is investigating Tesla after reports of it braking “without warning, randomly, and often repeatedly on one engine,” did not immediately comment on the San Francisco crash.
Last summer, the NHTSA elevated the investigation to what it calls engineering analysis. National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy questioned whether “full self-driving” is an accurate description of the technology — and said Tesla should do more to prevent abuse.
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