On-board footage from a Tesla Model S shows a minor collision with a van which was stationary on the left side of the road.
Footage of a minor fender bender was uploaded this week by the driver of a Tesla Model S who wanted to show the world some of the safety systems of his all-electric sedan failed to work. The video is no longer available, but luckily someone made a GIF with the moment of impact to show what happened. It is believed the accident took place on a crowded highway near Zurich, Switzerland.
As explained by the Model S driver, the car had the Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (TACC) and active cruise control both turned on, but those failed to react. To make matters worse, the TACC actually accelerated the car before the driver slammed the brakes. In addition, the collision avoidance system did not perform an emergency brake to try and avoid the collision.
By now you are probably thinking that it was the car’s fault, but that is not actually the case. First of all, we believe the driver had enough time to react and hit the brakes. He did not do that because he put too much confidence in the car’s computers. However, Tesla warns the TACC can’t detect all objects and may not be able to decelerate/brake whenever there’s a stationary vehicle up ahead and the Model S is doing more than 50 mph (80 kph).
These automated systems are far from being perfect at this point which is why drivers should still be very attentive and not trust the computers entirely. As we said in that other video about the Model S driver sleeping behind the wheel, systems like Autopilot are still a work in progress and are far from being perfect at this point. That’s why we need to be on the look at all times to avoid situations in which the built-in software and hardware can’t prevent crashes.
Although it was only a minor collision, even so the Model S owner says the front end has to be replaced entirely, including new parking sensors and a steel beam.