What you’re looking at here is the aftermath of a hefty Tesla Model X crash in Irvine, California. The owner - whose wife was driving at the time - took to the Tesla Forum to claim the car ‘autonomously’ accelerated without warning, running over a load of plants before smashing into a building.
However, in a statement to Electrek, Tesla pinned the blame entirely upon the driver:
“We analyzed the vehicle logs which confirm that this Model X was operating correctly under manual control and was never in Autopilot or cruise control at the time of the incident or in the minutes before. Data shows that the vehicle was traveling at 6mph when the accelerator pedal was abruptly increased to 100 per cent.”
To sum up, it seems the driver mashed her foot down on the accelerator pedal, presumably mistaking it for the brake. ‘Unintended acceleration’ it’s usually called, and it’s quite common. We can only assume in this case the driver figured the presence of Tesla’s Autopilot gave the perfect opportunity to try and shift the blame elsewhere, onto a system which is still in its infancy and in the process of proving itself.
Despite the damning evidence shown in the driver logs, the car’s owner seems determined to stick to the original story, telling Electrek:
“My wife is a 45-year-old woman with a great driving record…She knows the difference between brake and accelerator pedal. I am waiting to hear from Tesla whether the accelerator pedal can be depressed by the car electronically similar to gas-powered cars’ pedal being depressed on their own while in cruise control.”