UPDATES: Tesla Model X Crashes While Reportedly In Autopilot Mode
With more and more miles being racked up in Autopilot mode in both the Tesla Model S and X, it’s inevitable that more incidents will be reported, the question now will be was Autopilot really to blame or was it human error – or just humans laming the technology after the fact?
It seems Tesla may be delving into driving logs more and more as we move forward.
A fatal crash that occurred back in May that just started making headlines last week is the highest profile Autopilot-related crash, but it’s certainly not the only one.
Albert Scaglione was in his 2016 Tesla Model X, reportedly in Autopilot mode, when it crashed and rolled over on July 1st on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
UPDATE: Tesla tells us the following:
“We have no data to suggest that Autopilot was engaged at the time of the incident. Anytime there is a significant accident, Tesla receives a crash detection alert. As is our practice with all collisions, we immediately reached out to the customer to make sure he was safe. Until the customer responds, we are unable to further investigate.”
UPDATE 2: Tesla has re-stated the information received on the crash
“We received an automated alert from this vehicle on July 1 indicating airbag deployment, but logs containing detailed information on the state of the vehicle controls at the time of the collision were never received. This is consistent with damage of the severity reported in the press, which can cause the antenna to fail. As we do with all crash events, we immediately reached out to the customer to confirm they were ok and offer support but were unable to reach him. We have since attempted to contact the customer three times by phone without success. Based on the information we have now, we have no reason to believe that Autopilot had anything to do with this accident.” – via Electrek
As the Detroit Free Press reports:
“A Southfield art gallery owner told police his 2016 Tesla Model X was in Autopilot mode when it crashed and rolled over on the Pennsylvania Turnpike last week.”
“Albert Scaglione and his artist son-in-law, Tim Yanke, both survived Friday’s crash near the Bedford exit, about 107 miles east of Pittsburgh.”
The Detroit Free Press was able to get in touch with officer-on-the-scene Dale Vukovich of the Pennsylvania State Police. The officer described the incident as follows:
“Vukovich stated that Scaglione’s car was traveling east near mile marker 160, about 5 p.m. when it hit a guard rail “off the right side of the roadway. It then crossed over the eastbound lanes and hit the concrete median.”
“After that, the Tesla Model X rolled onto its roof and came to rest in the middle eastbound lane. A 2013 Infiniti G37 driven in the westbound lane by Thomas Hess of West Chester, Pa., was struck by debris from the Scaglione car, but neither he nor his passenger was hurt.”
Scaglione was injured, but survived the crash.
Police say the Model X driver will likely be cited for a violation, but it’s unknown what he’ll be cited for at this point in time. By default, Autopilot must be activated by a driver, and when the feature is engaged, drivers are reminded to keep their hands on the wheel.
The Free Press also notes the road conditions in that area:
“Anyone who has driven on the Pennsylvania Turnpike knows that its narrow shoulders and concrete medians leave little margin for driver error. There’s not enough evidence to indicate that Tesla’s Autopilot malfunctioned.”
We will update as new information becomes available.
Source: Freep, hat tip to Jamie H!