Just a few days after the first fatality in a Model S accident while the Tesla Autopilot was activated came to light, we now learn of another severe Tesla crash while the vehicle was allegedly on Autopilot, but this time with a Model X and fortunately everyone survived.
The crashed happened last Friday (July 1) on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near the Bedford exit, about 107 miles east of Pittsburgh. The Model X hit a guard rail and then the concrete median before rolling over and coming to a rest in the middle lane. The driver, Albert Scaglione, told the police that the Autopilot was activated at the time of the accident.
We recently reported on a rare accident which resulted in a Tesla Model S rolling over. We highlighted how hard it is to rollover a Model S due to its heavy weight and low center of gravity. Pretty much the same thing goes for the Model X, which actually has the lowest probability of rolling over than any other SUV, according to Tesla.
Just to reiterate: It takes a lot of speed to launch the vehicle and make it rollover.
Detroit Free Press reported the news of Model X accident today and wrote that the police investigator, Dale Vukovich, is likely to charge Scaglione and that there’s no indication that Tesla’s Autopilot malfunctioned:
Vukovich said he likely will cite Scaglione after he completes his investigation, but he declined to specify the charge..
Anyone who has driven 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.
The accident is reminiscent of another recent Tesla Model X accident which resulted in the SUV crashing into a building (pictured above). The driver blamed the Autopilot system, but Tesla reviewed the logs and said that “the accelerator pedal was abruptly increased to 100%” which indicates the driver probably mistook the “gas” pedal for the brakes.
Tesla recommends that drivers keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times while on Autopilot and the automaker adds that drivers “need to maintain control and responsibility for the vehicle”.
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