Tesla Motors Inc is pushing through a pretty difficult week, all things considered. The EV company rolled out its new Model X 60D. The crossover replaces the 75D as the entry version of the Model X range. However, the car’s unveiling did very little to clear the controversy surrounding Tesla and its Autopilot technology.
The week began with news of another confirmed Autopilot crash in Montana.
Montana Autopilot crash
Driving from Seattle to Yellowstone National Park, a Tesla owner crashed his Model X during the early hours of Saturday morning last weekend. No one in the vehicle was physically hurt by the accident. Both the unnamed driver and his passenger lived and were mostly unharmed. The Model X was not as furtunate though. The incident took the front right passenger wheel.
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The car allegedly veered to the right of a double-lane highway while using Autopilot. It hit and mounted a series of wooden guard pegs on the side of the road. Tesla Motors agrees that the Model X in question was using its autonomous tech at the time. But the EV producer says its driver had not kept his hands on the wheel.
Two minutes after the self-driving system was engaged, “no force was detected on the steering wheel,” Tesla insists. The company also said that its EVs can detect the slightest application of force on its steering wheels, even one hand.
Tesla Motors [qm q=TSLA m=NASDAQ c=Tesla Motors Inc also says the driver was prompted by the system to place his hands on the wheel a few times and chose to ignore the cautioning. The highway grew more and more uncertain yet the driver ignored the Autopilot system. “He did not do so and shortly thereafter the vehicle collided with a post on the edge of the roadway.” reports the EV maker.
New Model X from Tesla
Mid-week saw the world’s most successful EV maker push out yet another variant of its EVs. This time around, the Model X gained a new version. Tesla unveiled its $74,000 Model X 60D. It is the company’s most afford Model X variant and is said to reach lows of $66,500 after tax incentives.
Drivers gain access to a top speeds of 130 mph, they can cover around 200 miles on a single charge, and do 0-60 in 6 seconds.
This week Wednesday also had Tesla announce that it will no longer guarantee the repurchase values of its EVs. The end of the buyback program accesses automaker to much of the cash that was set aside for buying its EVs back at around 50 percent of their purchase value. Tesla has long been seeking financial slack and this latest move comes after high share sales amd tax-break applications.
Autopilot scandal intensifies
The head of a U.S. Senate committee, Senator John Thune, contacted Elon Musk this Thursday. The CEO was advised that his company is due to brief the senate on the details of the May 7 crash that took the life of Joshua Brown. Brown’s Model S was involved in a collision with a truck while moving along a Motorway in Florida. Tesla reports that the man’s autopilot was enabled at the time of the accident.
Now Tesla [qm q=TSLA m=NASDAQ c=Tesla Motors Inc has to explain the incident to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. The company has to brief Thune’s committee by July 29th