Watch Tesla Model S Slam Full Speed Into Stopped Nissan


What say you? Tesla warned you?

Should we reiterate? Yes, we must! Today’s cars aren’t fully autonomous. It may be some time before we reach Level 5 autonomy or even Level 4. C’mon, even level 3 right now is a stretch! Keep your fricking hands on or at least near the mother-fricking steering wheel and stay alert! Or at least be awake, aware, and able to take control at a moment’s notice. Watching this Tesla Model S involved in a high-speed crash should surely help to wake you up. Maybe …

Yes, there are actually some sorta autonomous cars out there and Tesla Autopilot is in the mix. However, like most other systems, Tesla doesn’t ever guarantee unlimited success. Thus, we must tell you again and again that these cars cannot and will not drive themselves, nor will they avoid slamming into a stationary object. They’re simply not programmed that way.

If you’re not paying any attention to the road ahead, the above video is an indication of what may happen. Does this mean Tesla Autopilot sucks? No! All of these eventual self-driving systems are a work in progress. Moreover, the Tesla tech actually did warn the driver of a potential collision, although he didn’t take control and react.

Fortunately, in the end, everyone in the car was okay. This is a testament to the safety of Tesla vehicles. But still … must we say again that you have to be alert and aware and ready to intervene? Yes, we have said that again and again, as has Tesla and most other automakers that offer such driver assistance technology.

Video Description via The Dashcam Store on YouTube:

Tesla Warned You! | Full-Speed Rear-End Crash Caught on Dashcam

Tesla Model S rear-ends a stopped vehicle, captured using a BlackVue DR750S-2CH front and rear-facing dashcam.

This dashcam footage was graciously provided by our friend “G”. Here’s a message from the cammer:

“We weren’t paying attention all. We were too focused on the chaos around us and didn’t even hear our car warning us of the obstacle ahead. As you can see, we rammed right into the parked car going about 45 mph. I haven’t heard words like come that from my wife’s mouth in the 20 some-odd years we’ve been married!

Luckily, everyone was OK….aside from my Tesla of course.”

Poor Tesla Model S!

Categories: Crashed EVs, Tesla

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135 Comments on "Watch Tesla Model S Slam Full Speed Into Stopped Nissan"

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At least he’s honest he wasn’t paying attention.

I wonder if the flashing police lights were a contributing factor.
Otherwise, you’ve got a white car with the brake lights on.
This “corner case” needs to be addressed.

is there a delete comment function? I don’t see it.
if the autopilot was not on, then of course it isn’t detecting white metal boxes ahead.

Flashing light are meant to be a warning, though in this case perhaps they were also a distraction.
Main point being see flashing lights slow down. use brain.

They may be. As I noted in a post just now, I’ve used Autopilot in a Model 3 before and it stopped just fine for a car ahead of me in my lane that was stopped, as I approached it.

The algorithms are designed to stop for stationary cars, contrary to what some would state. My experience is proof. However it clearly doesn’t always do so effectively.

Why didn’t the emergency braking stop the car? Is that disabled with Autopilot on?

EAB only works at low speed. And even then it can only lessen the severity of the crash.

What was the speed? Looks well below 30 mph to me.

He wrote “As you can see, we rammed right into the parked car going about 45 mph”.

Bottom of the video shows about 44 MPH, based on the dashcam ticker on the video

On Subaru, one example, autobraking works at all speeds its just that its detection range when not used with Dynamic Cruise is limited to 25 ft. Subaru in above case with Eyesight on would have applied brakes and applied them faster and harder than a human.

At the apparent relatively low speed of the car in the video, very likely would have stopped the car. Subaru will stop within 120 ft at 60 mph.

Most emergency braking systems are disabled at higher speeds due to potential serious consequences of a false positive. Tesla is no exception to this.

It’s disabled when most needed? Very strange.

its disabled when most dangerous

What’s most needed is an alert driver.

Making Autopilot illegal will make drivers more alert.

The car alerted the driver, seconds before impact. When your car does that emergency beep, you need to take the wheel. That’s what’s flashing on the screen when it starts that beep.

Another Euro point of view

Shaun, the fact that one have to again and again specify this (issue of the false positive) shows how the challenges that faces full self driving technology are still vastly misunderstood. Amazing as this is the BAB of it and addressed again and again on this site.

Maybe the fact that some manufacturers have this system working at high speed make people wonder why Tesla does not have it?

They do? Please supply a link.

Who has it?

Nobody, but nobody, has an ABS system that detects stationary objects when the car is driving at high speed. Even Waymo/Google’s famous cars with no steering wheels… those are limited to 25 MPH or slower.

It’s shocking that the word has not gotten out on this. It’s been pointed out over and over that semi-self-driving cars can’t detect stationary obstacles when running at highway speed, yet somehow people have not gotten the message.

Tesla’s cars have gotten a reputation for having more advanced self-driving systems than any others, and in many respects this is true. But when it comes to this one condition, of running into parked vehicles and other stationary obstacles when moving at highway speeds, Tesla’s cars are as vulnerable as those of other brands.

Waymo phased their 25 mph prototypes out years ago. Their vans drive at highways speeds and absolutely stop for parked cars.

…on pre-programmed routes, in high definition 3D mapped areas. Not on any side street in literally the world.

Google knows how to map, lol.

Hyundai’s AEB breaks up to 80 km/h to attempt to stop, and up to 120 km/h it at least brakes.

Mercedes and Subaru works in even higher speed.

No automaker guarantees that AEB will work. Tesla’s system actually does work at higher speeds, but it doesn’t always work, just like other automakers. The fact is that when other automaker’s systems fail, no one bothers to make it headline news.

In this case, the audible alert sounded, but the driver was so out of it that he didn’t even hear the alert. This is a special level of distracted ignorant driving.

Where is the evidence for that? Tesla does receive a lot of attention, good and bad, but there’s no reason to think other manufacturers failures are supressed. I’m pretty sure IEVs would be eager to post videos of other makes screw-ups, as would electrek and the rest of the EV sites. You know, the ones that people like us read, yet don’t come across much of that sort…

Volvo did manage to run down a guy when demonstrating their brilliant AEB many, many years ago. And that is a easy to find on YouTube.

“No automaker guarantees that AEB will work.”

Because of snow, rain, tire conditions. Subaru’s (and others) tested systems will PREVENT a crash at 25 mph based on dry pavement, good tires.

I’ve got the spilled coffee and groceries to prove it….plus the IIHS tests.

Most autobraking is not disabled at high speed it is just limited in distance when activated unless dynamic cruise is also on.

Most but not all. More advanced ones work at highway speeds.
This one case doesn’t look like high speed.

Emergency brakes did engage. That’s why the car slows down just before impact.

They don’t engage earlier because it was still possible for the driver to take control and swerve to safety. They’re a last resort when it’s clear that there is no other way for a crash to not occur, and should be thought of more like airbags – they’ll reduce damage to you, not to your car.

“They don’t engage earlier because it was still possible for the driver to take control and swerve to safety.”

No, that’s not even remotely why ABS systems in general don’t kick in earlier, in (non-)response to stationary obstacles, when the car is driving at highway speed.

The reality is explained here:

It isn’t just false positives. Radar sees moving objects better than ones at rest. It is counter intuitive.

Which is why they need to rely more on the stereoscopic images, because you & I drive without radar just fine. AI is hard.

You are so correct. All autopilots should work solely on visual images. Once that tech has matured and in place, then you can supplement with radar and other sensors to make “AI” truly worthwhile.

The Tesla crash avoidance alarm went off which was ignored by the driver.

I don’t see where it’s stated by the driver that Autopilot (driver assist steering) was ON at the time of the crash.

The driver saying “We weren’t paying attention all. We were too focused on the chaos around us and didn’t even hear our car warning us of the obstacle ahead…” does not necessarily mean that Autopilot was ON.

Right…..there was no AutoPilot, just warnings and it looks like Emergency braking may have done its job by slowing the car down since that crash was not at 45mph as the driver though. If it was at 45mpg the car behind would not have been able to stop from hitting the Tesla.

But wow, he really was not paying attention to manual driving at all, especially since they didn’t even notice the two police cars and their lights at night either. And it sounded like he said something about ‘….following me’ where be may have been looking in the rear view mirror more concerned about the car behind him than the cars in front.

This looks like a case where AutoPilot could have avoided this accident altogether. along with being a selling point for AutoPilot safety.

May be, but I’ve had TACC or Autopilot engaged and in several instances it’s maintained a steady speed headed toward slowed/stopped cars, forcing me to intervene. My 2015 Model S has 1.0 hardware. In stop/go traffic, Autopilot is fantastic. In other situations, it’s probably best to use TACC since it keeps the driver more engaged.

Bet they were glad they were in the #2 Safest Car on the road!

The warning needs to come on sooner too.

Listen to the recording critically. The male voice is not the same male voice as the one cussing at the end. The dialog seems out of context and recorded. I strongly believe the couple was watching a movie, or TV and not distracted by “the chaos around them”. If they are watching TV, that explains why neither noticed a parked car and highly suggests that AP was engaged. Still, I have no proof but I encourage everyone to listen critically to the audio and ignore what the car is doing.

It’s time to disable auto-pilot until there is some guarantee of basic functionality – at least collision warning and auto-braking.
And how much does Tesla charge for this feature that is clearly not ready for use?

Was autopilot even being used here? All I saw and read was that the collision warning worked as intended.

Or maybe we just remove all F150’s from the road if we can find a video of one plowing into something.

“It’s time to disable auto-pilot until there is some guarantee of basic functionality – at least collision warning and auto-braking.”

Yeah, and let’s disable all the air bags in cars, because they don’t always save someone’s life in an accident, right?

The question is whether you’re safer with it on or with it off. The question is not whether safety systems work perfectly 100% of the time. Advocating that people should shut off Autopilot is very much a case of “The perfect driving out the good.”

It’s safer to keep my seatbelt off so I can be thrown clear in an accident. I actually used to hear that frequently when I was young.

Can we just take away the license of people who don’t pay attention while driving? That should remove about half of all drivers on the road making it much safer.

Ah yes this happens when you don’t watch the road. I almost did the same thing two years ago. Traffic stopped and I was looking at my radio. My Subaru did not beep at me but luckily my wife did. Stopped within a few inches to spare.

“Auto Wife!” I have one of those, too!

It happens that auto wife sometimes does not react as expected. I heard from a lot of friends that they ran into problems.

Problems are more likely to arise if you don’t talk to Auto Wife respectfully.

Not perfect. Lots of false positives. Actually, all false positives so far.

I have a manual wife.

(To those who didn’t get it, look up the etymology of “manual”.)

It’s good you didn’t have her muted.

My auto P.wife has worn down the passenger mat by pushing her feet on it while I’m driving but has 3 accidents herself,2 rear enders , I have had no accidents for years.

Not sure what you guys are talking about auto braking not working. The car clearly stopped, it just used the car in front for help.

Assisted deceleration?

If it was a Nissan Leaf stopped ahead in traffic, the Tesla AP would have stopped, out of EVery day courtesy given by Tesla vehicles to any and all brands, of pure BEVs!😁

That’s a secret. Tesla does not plow into EV’s.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous


Full speed about 45 mph

Dumba$$. Out of the gene pool.

Perhaps out of the gene pool because he’s too old to reproduce anyways. But he survived, so death didn’t take him out of the gene pool.

Sure, but that puts 90% of the driving public out of the gene pool. Distracted driving is extremely common.

I don’t think autopilot was on in this case. You can hear the alarm sound. Usually, my Model-3 will only do this when auto-pilot is off.

Came to say the same. Autopilot is A-OK with slamming on the brakes as necessary, when engaged. I believe that urgent beep warning (and corresponding red vehicle in the display) only occur when the Autopilot is deactivated.

Unrelated, but I was rear ended recently in the same situation. Traffic had slowed to a near stop due to rubbernecking at a traffic stop… the driver behind me was looking at the police and car that was pulled over, and plowed straight into us. (No autopilot was involved; the vehicle at fault was a 2000 Dodge…)

Time to remove all Dodges from the road.

You can get the alarm with AP on as well. Or at least with Original Recipe Autopilot.

The driver is lucky he/she didn’t run over a policeman.

uh, any person

Or, any first responder without a badge

I don’t think so. Uber killed a homeless woman and that didn’t really bother anyone.

No, that was just you.

Pushy is SO right!
when others suggest a pedestrian fatality “didn’t really bother anyone”?

That is, ‘as wrong as wrong can be!’

Sounds like “deine Mutt” could work for the Trumpster’s Maladministration in the Border Patrol.

Really, what were the consequences? Not even a manslaughter charge and no public outcry. If Uber had killed someone with a higher social standing the outcome would have been different.

Oh, is a cynical reflection on the state of society too much for you?

Why didn’t the driver slow down to a cautious speed when there were several police lights going right in front of him? I mean, you should pretty alert of what’s in front of you when it’s surrounded by flashing lights and be expecting stopped/slow traffic.
I also want to know why the Nissan was stopped in the middle of the lane?

Another Euro point of view

Exactly thought so, clearly absence of an attention monitoring functionality is this system Achilles heel.

I don’t think AP was on, just a normal driver not paying attention.

Precisely, they were zooming along gawking at the flashing lights. Should get a ticket for careless driving!

How can you miss all those blue and red flashing lights? At night. And then Autopilot clearly warning 3 secs before impact.

“Not paying attention” -> understatement of the century.

If you listen to the audio it sounds like he had turned around to talk to his kids, either way he has no business driving period as he endangered everyone around him by being STUPID!

Sort of related but this is why I tell friends and family to never, ever stop on the side of the highway if at all possible (breakdown, pee break, swap drivers, etc.). Get well out of reach of traffic flow or preferably get totally off the highway. There are far to many idiots who will run straight into the back of a stopped vehicle. Even police and fire vehicles with their emergency lights on get rear ended on the side of the road.

Just look at Youtube. Plenty videos of vehicles slamming (or even nearly clipping a cop) vehicles that are stopped at emergency lane or side of the road. Never stop. I even honk drivers who are extremely slow/distracted when there are nearby events going on. I don’t want to get rear ended.

This has nothing to do with AEB or Autopilot. The Tesla actually warned the driver way ahead.

Insurance should NOT cover the Tesla because all rear end accidents are the rear enders fault plus video clearly shows the driver was NOT paying attention, tons of warning signs yet he just kept yacking with small children in the car no less.
They should jerk his license indefinitely and give him a car more suited to his mentality like a Big Wheel!
Just think of the poor people this ass ran into, hope they sue him for everything he owns or will own!
Thanks Elon for providing technology to IDIOTS!

This is an armchair warriors response. It’s easy to criticize somebody else, until you’re the one in the same situation. Nearly all human drivers have been guilty of not paying attention for a few seconds at some point or another. Fortunately, 99% of the time nothing happens and we don’t think much about it… until it does.

Sorry, THIS is unexcusable.
You have to see the police light a loooong time before you can crash into that stopped car, when you are driving only 45.
Error 404 driver not found.

Never with family and kids in the car…..Moron comes to mind ie., the driver who bears full responsibility or lack thereof.

“Insurance should NOT cover the Tesla because all rear end accidents are the rear enders fault…”

Say what? The reason people pay for “collision” level of insurance is specifically so it will pay if the accident is their fault. People who don’t want to pay for that can get liability-only insurance.

Check your state driving regulations, rear end collision provides a way out for insurance companies and this is much worse, its on video and driver admits fault….he’s toast and the fun for him has just begun when the Nissan owners Insurance company comes after him…..bad days ahead for beig STUPID!

The most common conclusion is that the driver who rear-ends another vehicle is at fault for the car accident because they were not following at a safe enough distance in order to stop in time. However, there are certain instances where the driver who gets rear-ended is also at fault for the accident.

“all rear end accidents are the rear enders fault ”
Pure BS!

In Washington State its clear.

The most common conclusion is that the driver who rear-ends another vehicle is at fault for the car accident because they were not following at a safe enough distance in order to stop in time. However, there are certain instances where the driver who gets rear-ended is also at fault for the accident.

Sorry, but this driver is unfit to keep his drivers license.

Most drivers are unfit to keep their drivers licenses if this guy isn’t.

Most drivers don’t realize how fast things happen at speed. A second or less of inattention can cause a fatal collision in many situations. Far too many careless and/or selfish drivers out there.

True, people greatly underestimate how long it takes to adjust the radio, or send a text message. It’s not sub second by any means, it’s usually multi-second.

I usually drive with either TACC engaged or full Autopilot (1.0) and have noted on several instances where I expect the car to slow down and it keeps an even speed when approaching slowed or stopped traffic. I can think of at least five times where this has occurred and believe that had I not intervened, I’d have slammed into the cars ahead of me.

Thanks for this article. Please repeat this semi-frequently as everyone using this system needs a regular reminder. The system is great, but it can lead you into a false sense of security. Stay alert and keep your hands on/near the wheel.

Is there any evidence that autopilot was enabled? I didn’t hear auto-pilot disable sound.

I have tried Autopilot a few times, including the 2-week trial recently on my Model 3. I liked its functions and capabilities, but did not purchase (changed my mind on EAP option on the second order). The reason: fear of my own complacency.

Yep, the technology is just still not ready. It’s great but people expecting fully autonomous cars in just a couple years or so are not considering how difficult it is and how many none technology hurdles there are to clear. That includes Elon. But to his credit, he’s reduced his autonomous driving claims a lot.

Sure blame “autopilot.” It was the driver’s fault for not paying attention to his/her surroundings.

Yeah, blame Autopilot for everything! Did it rain on your birthday? Blame Autopilot! Did you get pregnant? Blame Autopilot!

1.) Tesla should not allow AP to be engaged where it is not supposed to be.
2.) why is Tesla’s emergency braking so freaking terrible?

“Fortunately, in the end, everyone in the car was okay. This is a testament to the safety of Tesla vehicles.”

Well, just about any other new cars with 4 star or better rating should be okay in this crash.

The IIHS and NHTSA crash test both test around the speed of which this accident is involved and they crash into a fixed barrier where this is a Nissan CUV. So, if they get 4 or 5 starts on those front crash, then everyone should be fine in the Model S.

The bigger question is the car in the front where the occupants can sustain injuries at those speeds due to whiplash if their headrest isn’t properly adjusted.

” nor will they avoid slamming into a stationary object”

Actually they will. IIHS test of Subaru’s EyeSight system which include Autobraking (what failed in the Tesla video) rates is a superior system. It works great all the time and at night and combined with Dynamic Cruise. Subaru brakes in 120 ft at 60 mph and detects and reacts at 400 ft.

Had the Tesla owner turned his autobraking off or does Tesla not have it?

Everyone in the Tesla was ok, sure. What about the poor sap in the Nissan that’s got some severe whiplash and will never be the same?

I would like to see the following two items. A voluntary transponder that can be attached to ALL vehicles and intersections to transmit location for the developing autonomous tools. Secondly, a free transponder app for ALL phones. Though not perfect, how many pedestrians and passengers today have a phone on them all the time? As for battery life, most phones allow you to disable texting while you are moving. The reverse could be used for sending a moving signal. More and more people are charging when they are driving now too. The phone app is surely the cheapest stop gap. Slowing autonomous development is NOT the answer.

This will be happening more and more. Some people will become more trusting of Autopilot as they become familiar with it and just when they think they can refrain from paying proper attention to it for a few minutes – WHAM!

The Tesla driver is Totally At Fault ., However , IMO… A Car of this Caliber Should without Question Have a Collision Avoidance System. Even Your Cheaper Cars Have this Feature Now Days …

Public transport would be good for this person.

Public Transit should Be Mandatory For This Type 0f Driver…

Or a Big Wheel, he can pedal from now on.

Finally! Someone who takes responsibility for their actions. Or in this case, lack of actions. Glad everyone is alright

it has been proven that drivers who know they are in AP do not pay sufficient attention. As such they cannot perform in critical and immediate scenarios. Often causing more harm than good. Ford even documented their “professional” drivers fall asleep at the wheel. Several other studies have also shown that in an abnormal and sudden condition change drivers cannot react fast enough or well enough to make good decisions. Often overreacting or doing the wrong things. NASA, Clemson University, the UK and Ford have written about these issues. Those links are below:


This is why AP and other driver assist programs won’t work. If the least safe part of the system is the human driver then it makes no sense for the human driver to be the fail safe system. Especially when you’ve conditioned the driver not to pay attention and then demand that they play this role. It’s nuts. Cadillac SuperCruise works, but only because it does a good job of forcing the driver to pay attention and can only be engaged on some roads for which digital maps are available and on which there sin’t any cross traffic. Other than this type of limited solution driver assist programs aren’t safe. To be safe you have to take the human driver out of the system and replace it with an autonomous one. This is hardly a new insight. Waymo figured this out in 2012 when they let Google employees use its very advanced driver assist program (probably better than AP today). It found one employee working on a laptop, one putting on makeup, and even one who fell asleep for 26 or 27 minutes while going down the freeway at 65 MPH. Looking forward to seeing the Waymo and perhaps the… Read more »

What happens to a guy like this in the US?
Tickets? Prison? Loose license? Have to cover all cost?

Advance warnings are great but could easily be dramatically improved here: At very least, Tesla’s warning (3 short double-beeps, then silence) could, and should, be much louder and continuous and more dramatic continuously until impact (avoidance).

Also for AEB, without fully breaking, the car could suddenly decelerate a bit, adding further warning signs to the driver.

It appears AP was being used on a road where it had no business being engaged. And when the driver saw emergency lights should have disengaged AP.

“nor will they avoid slamming into a stationary object. They’re simply not programmed that way.”

I’m sorry but I have to call BS here. I’ve used Autopilot in a Model 3 and it stopped just fine for a stopped car in front of me as I approached it.

So by definition, it is designed to stop for stationary cars. It’s just that their algorithms are clearly sub par at doing so effectively all the time.

The problem is when the obstacle isn’t directly in front in the same lane.

The systems can’t tell if the object is a normal billboard or irrelevant parked vehicle vs one that intrudes partly or is likely to start moving.

There is a hardware flaw: no stereoscopic vision.

But in the video above the stopped vehicle is directly in the lane.

I don’t think you’d know why AP failed unless you investigated. Might be hardware related. Tesla doesn’t use Lidar so it might be the flashing lights confused the cameras. Or it might be a software glitch. When the Uber autonomous car killed the woman crossing the road the car “saw” her six or seven seconds before the crash, and a second or two before the crash correctly identified the object as a bicycle. However, the program instructed he car to turn over control to the driver in order to avoid hard braking maneuvers. Or maybe you wouldn’t know even then. Tesla apparently testified that the accident which killed Joshua Brown in Florida might have been caused by either of these failures: either the camera and radar did not detect the trailer crossing the road or the cameras and radar detected the trailer but discounted it as a false positive. On the other hand, NHTSA found AP wasn’t designed to identify the sides of other vehicles, only the rear ends of vehicles. (This would make sense since AP was using EyeQ3 from Mobileye and that system isn’t designed to detect vehicles moving perpendicular to the path of the vehicle. It’s the… Read more »

Why the rant about keeping your hands on the wheel? The driver failed to brake, they didn’t loose control of the steering. And for that matter why did the Tesla’s system fail to see the car ahead…..?

Pretty hilarious that it’s the dipsh!t driver that has front and rear dashcams. Did he foresee that he’d be causing a lot of accidents and wanted to be a YT star?


Anytime an emergency vehicle is on the side of the road with its lights flashing, just slow the F down.
That should be auto driving 101.
Some states will issue a ticket for not slowing down to a safe speed.

Well, there is another repeat Model 3 customer.

Tesla should be able to book another sale soon. =)

45 MPH is hardly full speed, but it will be messy. How long ago did this happen. Would recent OTA updates have prevented it? Was autopilot on?

Yeah, this system isn’t ready for prime time.

How can Tesla be rated #1, #2, and #3 for safety when their cars’ batteries explode into the passenger compartment (in one case axles flying in the air), and cars that seem to have much more than their share of mishaps?

Cadillac’s SuperCruise was rated by CR as the best to date, as it doesn’t run into things and forces the driver to pay attention as an additional safety. Good thing no one was in the Nissan.

If this car will do this to a parked car, then the same model car will do it in a similar situation. No thanks.

Was autopilot on? Also any normal person would have stopped.

Why didn’t it stop? Isn’t that what automatic emergency brake is supposed to do?
If that is what #2 autopilot can do, it is very disappointing.

FWIW, the Chevy Bolt’s low-speed automatic braking would have probably caught this and slammed on the brakes, since it works at speeds of up to 50 mph.

The police lights alone would have made me slow down (manually). At least no one was hurt.