More electric cars are coming. We are all excited. Especially about the brand Tesla which is set to make its entry into India. With a great electric drivetrain and performance we also are going to be treated to some next level technology. But we have always seen the downsides of this technology and the issues that high performance electric cars. Many incidents over the years have been reported about issues and mishaps that involve Tesla vehicles. Today we are going to talk about another such incident that involved a Tesla Model S crash in the US.
The incident occurred day before yesterday in Spring, Texas, a suburb of Houston. Two men are dead after a Tesla Model S ran off the road and struck a tree in Texas—an incident that is garnering national attention because authorities believe neither man was behind the wheel of the Model S at the time of the crash. Tesla vehicles are equipped Tesla’s Autopilot capabilities, and authorities are still investigating the exact circumstances of the crash. The car was reportedly moving at a high rate of speed when it lost control on a curve, struck a tree, and immediately burst into flames.
The police investigation is still ongoing, but so far has shown that neither man was behind the wheel, with one of the men in the passenger seat and the other behind him in the rear passenger seat of the Tesla Model S at the time of the crash. The identities of the men have not yet been released. After impact, the vehicle was engulfed in flames and took more than 30,000 gallons of water to put out. At one point police deputies had called Tesla for guidance on how to put out the fire.
Firefighters reportedly battled to put out the burning car for hours as the vehicle’s batteries continued to ignite, an issue that can occur with all-electric vehicles when the battery pack catches fire and spreads to the pack’s separate cells that may still store energy.
Tesla has said in the past that in the event of a persistent fire to let it burn out. Very little was left of what was reportedly a 2019 Model S once the fire was out.
Tesla Model S Autonomous Driving a problem?
The Tesla Model S in question did not even have a driver in the seat and was set to it’s self driving function which is very risky and would not be condoned by any automaker. In conclusion, there has not been a official word from Tesla about any aspect of this incident. Elon Musk has commented on the issues faced by Autonomous Driving by saying that Teslas with Autopilot engaged are approaching ten times fewer crashes than cars without it.
Tesla with Autopilot engaged now approaching 10 times lower chance of accident than average vehicle https://t.co/6lGy52wVhC
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 17, 2021
Tesla’s Autopilot and other systems such as the General Motors Super Cruise are not fully autonomous systems, but more like assist features. Elon Musk has warned in the past of drivers becoming too carefree, which has lead to crashes like these. These softwares/AI are not to replace drivers. Tesla’s Full Self Driving update is in the beta stage where drivers are told to be cautious and also the program does not allow drivers to keep using the software for long periods of time.