This TeslaCam video captures a very scary moment when a truck hydroplanes sideways across the expressway and gets smashed into by a Tesla Model 3 on Autopilot. Clearly, Autopilot is not to be blamed here, but the driver of the Model 3 does say that the system was active at the time and he notes that he's not sure if Autopilot reacted to apply the brakes first or if he did so himself.
The driver of the Nissan pickup truck fled the scene after the incident, but we can likely help to identify the vehicle from the video above and images below:
Gallery: Tesla Smashes Out Of Control Truck
The driver of the Model 3, Troy Davis, was asked:
Did you manually slam on the breaks?
He responded, stating:
Absolutely. That's the natural reaction to a vehicle suddenly coming towards me. It was raining and the truck clearly hydroplaned so the impact was minimized but unfortunately the guy took off.
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It's not clear from the video if the black Nissan pickup truck makes contact with the other white pickup truck that it spins out in front of. Additionally, if the truck simply hydroplaned out of control, then this would be considered accidental, so why flee?
Unfortunately, we never get a look at the license plate, but some of the items that fly out of the pickup truck bed could likely be used to identify the driver. There's also some additional info in the description below that may help out.
Video description via Troy Davis on YouTube:
As soon as I saw the truck coming at me I mashed the brakes. I'm not sure if the car or I reacted first...
The incident occurred 2/9/2020 @ 1200 on the Interstate 210 Eastbound freeway just past the Lowell Ave off-ramp in La Crescenta, CA. So It was a hit and run and my vehicle was drive-able though I didn't know that at the time but it wasn't safe to do so due to reduced visibility from the frunk hood blocking my vision. I had it towed to the Burbank Tesla service center and they don't do that extensive of body repair so there is an authorized Tesla body shop (All City Collision Center) down the street and they picked it up. The wait was painful but they did an excellent job procuring the damaged parts, painting and putting it all back together again.