Tesla Motors Inc. is currently dealing with a spell of bad publicity. It is pushing strongly into July as well. After the world was shaken by news of a Model S crash being investigated last week, yet another arose due to the exact same cause. This time though, it is a Model X. Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration isn’t probing around this one, the EV company’s Autopilot tech is said to be the cause of this crash too.
Tesla Autopilot strikes again
The untimely death of a Model S owner, Joshua D. Brown, sent shockwaves throughout the world when news of its investigation went public last week. Brown was killed after his Tesla EV crashed into a truck. It is believed Autopilot was engaged at the time of the crash.
This latest Autopilot accident took place just over 100 miles east of Pittsburgh, PA. Tesla’s autonomous driving systems was reportedly enabled when Albert Scaglione, along with his son-in-law, crashed and rolled over on the Pennsylvania Turnpike last Friday.
The pair are lucky to have survived and walked away relatively unscathed. Though no one died during the crash, it has described by authorities to have been a brutal event. State police say the Model X rammed into a guardrail on the side of the road before it “crossed over the eastbound lanes and hit the concrete median.” The luxury SUV the rolled over onto into roof in the center eastbound lane.
Scaglione says the car’s Autopilot was on at the time. However, commenting on the matter, Tesla says it has “no data to suggest that Autopilot was engaged at the time of the incident.”
Scaglione to has been oddly despondent, too, about the whole ordeal. Tesla says until the Detroit gallery owner responds, “we are unable to further investigate.”
Tesla risking auto-drive industry
This Model X crash, in addition to Brown’s death in Florida, certainly puts Tesla Motors Inc., as well as the safety assurances of it technology, under some heavy strain. Though the Model S case took place in May, Tesla only made the incident public last week. This too is thought only to have been done as an act of forced transparency though. In the eyes of the world, the two cases are only days apart.
Tesla has been called out by most of its peers for being reckless. The way the company implements and promotes the use of its Autopilot doesn’t sit well with rivals. It is cited as a sign of how desperate the company is to get ahead of the self-driving car industry. Volvo’s R&D chief Peter Mertens says the firm is risking the appeal of the entire autonomous driving business. This is due to the image painted by Tesla’s self-stated incomplete tech.
Dale Vukovich, says that Scaglione will likely be cited for the crash, which also resulted in the damage of another car. Vukovich is the incident’s responding officer.