BEIJING, China – With two federal safety investigations already underway in the U.S., Tesla Motors could face scrutiny in China, as well, in the wake of an incident involving a Model S sedan operating in Autopilot mode.
The crash last week was relatively minor – unlike the fatal accident in Florida on May 9 – but it raises questions about both the capabilities of Tesla’s semi-autonomous technology and the way Autopilot is being sold and explained to the public. The driver, a 33-year-old computer programmer, claims he was told by the dealer’s staff that Autopilot allowed the vehicle to be operated hands-free.
Tesla confirmed the crash, but noted that the driver, Luo Zhen, was not following its guidelines. “As clearly communicated to the driver in the vehicle, autosteer is an assist feature that requires the driver to keep his hands on the steering wheel at all times, to always maintain control and responsibility for the vehicle, and to be prepared to take over at any time.”
Luo told the Reuters news service he was driving to work when he activated Autopilot. A dashboard videocam shows his car hitting a vehicle that was parked but not fully off the highway. There was relatively modest damage to both vehicles, but no injuries.
To read the rest of this story from Paul Eisenstein at The Detroit Bureau, click on http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2016/08/another-tesla-autopilot-accident-reported-in-beijing/