This is one big "whoops" right here, and we can be certain some folks will blame Tesla without fail, while others will argue that the driver was at fault. There really is no answer that's 100-percent correct, as it all depends on how you look at it. Moreover, since there are not yet any laws or insurance company policies spelling everything out, it doesn't matter how much people argue, it was an accident and that's the extent of it.
As you can see in the video above, a Tesla Model 3 driver is using Autopilot to navigate a narrow and curvy single-lane road with oncoming bikes, nearby trees, and walls. In addition, the driver never puts their hands on the steering wheel or makes any attempt to take over.
The Model 3 passes by the bicycles quite closely, which would be scary for us if we were behind the wheel, even if we were driving the car ourselves. Yet, the driver never even touches the steering wheel to assure that they're safe. As the Model 3 begins to leave the road and head into a bunch of trees, the driver doesn't move to grab the wheel or correct its path until it's too late.
As we always say, since we weren't in the car, and we weren't driving, we can't rush to judgment here. All we can do is watch the video and form opinions based on what we see. We can say that this probably isn't a proper use case for Tesla Autopilot, and if we were the Model 3 owner, it's not likely we would have engaged Autopilot under the circumstances.
Clearly, the driver was using Autopilot, which some will say is just fine so long as the driver was aware, had their hands on the wheel, and was ready to take over at a moment's notice. The Model 3 could have very easily killed the people on the bicycles, but instead, it killed some trees and got wrecked. Thankfully, it appears no one was badly injured.
We specifically wrote this article to start a conversation. We'd love to know what you think here? Who or what do you blame, and why?