Tesla is about to launch a subscription program for its Full Self-Driving add-on, but recent events may raise questions and concerns about expensive, semi-autonomous driver assistance. It probably also explains why the company and its CEO are working overtime to dispel these doubts and divert attention elsewhere, such as in the media. A recent Texas accident involving one of Tesla’s Model S cars claimed the lives of two men, but not only did the company insist that someone was in the driver’s seat, it also said that the autopilot was not even busy.
This, of course, contradicts what the Houston investigators concluded. Although there was not much left of the car to go on, the positions of the bodies led them to believe that one man was sitting on the passenger side while the other was in the back seat. This suggests that no one was actually behind the wheel at the time of the incident, which would only make sense if the autopilot or the Full Self-Driving feature were in use.
The Tesla representatives who inspected the accident refuted these claims, however. Although the investigation is still ongoing, which makes disclosure a little premature, the company says that the deformed shape of the wheel suggested that someone was actually in the driver’s seat. In addition, seat belts were determined to be unbuckled, which would have prevented Autopilot from working, although some reports claim that it was not so difficult to cheat that safety test.
Elon Musk later added that the vehicle owner did not even buy the FSD option, which rules out that possibility. Tesla’s illustrious CEO, however, did not stop there and again regretted the “deceptive media practices” that focused too much on Tesla car accidents, especially those that were attributed to autopilot or autopilot.
This, however, would not be the first time that such accidents have occurred, many of which may in fact have been the fault of drivers who misjudged the capabilities of these resources. Then again, many have criticized Tesla’s misleading use of “autopilot” and “fully autonomous driving” as marketing terms that don’t really do what they seem to do. Tesla has several instructions and warnings on how to use these resources properly, at which point it practically blames these incidents for bad judgment.