Tesla fan, owner, and popular YouTube influencer Bjørn Nyland notes that since a Tesla "caused" this accident, it will soon become global news. He admits that phantom braking is a reality and needs to be addressed, but valid arguments can be made about whether or not it's at fault in accidents like this. The sudden braking "caused" the chain reaction, but the following drivers are also at fault.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Bjørn Nyland has released a follow-up video related to the phantom braking. We've included it at the bottom of this article. He says he fielded many comments about the issue. He also shares that many other cars with automatic braking features also have this problem.
Some people claim the car slowed due to a speed limit change. Nyland disagrees. Perhaps the system isn't safe to use on such a winding and shadowy road? In the end, none of this really matters. As we explained before, the person following the Tesla was responsible for stopping, as were any other cars that were following the pack. However, pointing out system concerns like this will help alert automakers like Tesla to make necessary changes to the technology.
While new safety technology can save lives, it's far from perfect. As we pointed out just the other day, human drivers are far from perfect as well. Cars with advanced driver assistance technologies like adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking can sometimes brake by mistake (humans apply the brakes when it's unnecessary as well). Tesla's active safety features and Autopilot system are no exception. Such sudden phantom braking can lead to collisions. Keep in mind, though, that these systems are set up with a specific level of sensitivity to react, slow the car, and save lives.
Regardless of "who" or "what" is piloting a vehicle, it's always the job of the following vehicle drivers to maintain a safe distance, pay attention, and brake when necessary. Hopefully, someday we'll have active safety systems that are "foolproof" and "problem-free." That day is not likely going to come in the near future. So, it's our job as good drivers to remain vigilant at all times.
Check out the video for Nyland's detailed analysis of the situation. He's well-aware of the location of the crash and uses Google maps to survey the area and explain what happened.
Have you experienced phantom braking in your Tesla? How about in another car? What's your overall take on the topic?
Video Description via Bjørn Nyland on YouTube:
Tesla phantom braking caused chain collision