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Tesla Autopilot confuses markings toward barrier in recreation of fatal Model X crash at exact same location

Yesterday, we reported on a Tesla owner almost crashing on video trying to recreate the fatal Autopilot accident that happened in Mountain View last month.

Now, another Tesla owner recreated the situation at the exact same spot as the tragic accident – confirming previous potential explanations.

Last week, Tesla confirmed that the Model X involved in the fatal accident was on Autopilot before the crash and the Tesla community has been trying to figure out what exactly happened in order to better understand the driver assist system that they use every day.

As the owner in Chicago showed yesterday, Autopilot’s Autosteer stayed locked on the left line even though it became the right line of the ramp, which led the car into the divider and toward the barrier.

Now a Model S owner did the same test as the Model S owner in Chicago, but at the exact same location where the accident happened in Mountain View with very similar results:

Electrek’s Take

The main difference between the two tests is that the confusion with the lanes happened a longer distance ahead of the barrier than in the similar test in Chicago.

In the previous test, it almost led the driver into a crash as he was holding the camera at the same time – something we don’t recommend.

As for the recreation in Mountain View, the driver clearly has more time to correct the Autopilot back into the lane.

In its report based on the data logs, Tesla claimed:

“The driver had about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete divider with the crushed crash attenuator, but the vehicle logs show that no action was taken.”

It seems about right from the video – though it appears to be more than 5 seconds at the speed that the Model S driver was driving.

Unlike in the case of the crash based on Tesla’s report, Autopilot doesn’t appear to give any warning to the Model S driver doing the recreation, which leads me to believe that the warnings given to the Model X driver were time-based.

It serves as a tragic reminder that drivers need to pay attention at all time and be ready to take over when using Autopilot.

To be fair, the markings are quite bad and makes it look like a lane even to a human at some point, but it certainly looks like Tesla needs to work on this particular scenario since it was recreated at two different locations in very similar circumstances.

Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

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