News of the fatal Autopilot accident that occurred a few months ago in Florida is still fresh on the minds of those who follow Tesla, no doubt, with much contemplation of the matter and the technology itself occurring.
It appears that we now have more to think about… as a new accident involving a Tesla Model X, and possibly the Autopilot function, has apparently occurred in just the last few days. Thankfully, this accident wasn’t fatal, and doesn’t seem to have involved serious injuries.
It does seem to have involved a flipped Model X, though, amazingly (Tesla reportedly wasn’t able to flip the Model X at all during testing). The story of the accident is somewhat convoluted, but clear facts include: it occurred on July 1st while driving east on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the driver was an Albert Scaglione, and the driver’s son-in-law Tim Yanke was also in the car.
Our sister site Gas 2 continues: “The Detroit Free Press was unable to reach either man for comment, but was able to speak to officer Dale Vukovich of the Pennsylvania State Police, who responded to the scene. He says Scaglione told him he had activated the car’s Autopilot system just prior to the crash, which took place at mile marker 160 east of Pittsburgh near the town of Bedford. Vukovich says the car hit a guardrail ‘off the right side of the roadway. It then crossed over the eastbound lanes and hit the concrete median.’ Then the car rolled onto its roof and came to rest in the middle of the eastbound lanes of the turnpike. Debris from the Tesla struck a car driving west on the turnpike. There are no reports of injuries in either car.”
That’s quite an image…. That is a fairly dangerous section of road, though, as noted by the Detroit Free Press in its coverage: “Anyone who has driven on the Pennsylvania Turnpike knows that its narrow shoulders and concrete medians leave little margin for driver error. There’s not enough evidence to indicate that Tesla’s Autopilot malfunctioned.”
Tesla reportedly has no data on whether or not Autopilot was actually engaged. Here’s the company’s statement on the matter:
Tesla received a message from the car on July 1st indicating a crash event, but logs were never transmitted. We have no data at this point to indicate that Autopilot was engaged or not engaged. This is consistent with the nature of the damage reported in the press, which can cause the antenna to fail.
As we do with all crash events, we immediately reached out to the customer to confirm they were ok and offer support, but were unable to reach him. We have since attempted to contact the customer three times by phone without success. It is not possible to learn more without access to the vehicle’s onboard logs.
As mentioned at the start of the article, the NHTSA is reportedly looking into the matter and speaking with those involved.