UPDATE: We’ve seen new press coverage from Jalopnik that quotes the driver in this story as owning up to using Autopilot when he shouldn’t have been.
An American driver is accusing his Tesla Model S of ‘suddenly accelerating’ when he engaged the autopilot mode.
David Clark, of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, had four passengers on board when he claims that the car lurched forwards as he engaged the car’s self-driving mode. The story ends pretty quickly when the car left the road and flipped over into marshland. No major injuries have been reported.
The 58-year-old was approaching the intersection of 141st Street and 172nd Avenue in Irving Township. There are no road markings at that point on 141st Street, but it’s not clear which road Clark was travelling on at the time.
While Tesla has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the case of Joshua Brown, the man who repeatedly ignored warnings to retake control from his Model S before being killed in a high-speed impact with a lorry, claims of malfunctioning Autopilot systems will persist. We know from this video that it’s not quite perfect even if it can now detect a risk of accidents even before the car in front.
The description of this accident sounds a lot like what happens when your cruise control is set to a high speed when you re-engage it. The car accelerates away to try to get back up to speed. We’re curious to know what Tesla’s findings are when they examine the car’s logs.