Tesla says that there is no way that could happen.
The road to driverless cars has been a rather bumpy one, every accident involving an autonomous driving aid is fuel for the doubters but also highlights that the technology is still in its infancy and these things are going to happen.
The latest such accident, reported by NJ.com, took place on Route 1 in Middlesex County this past Sunday night where a Tesla Model X veered off the road while in Autopilot mode and crashed into a number of signs before coming to a rest by the roadside. Thankfully no one was hurt although the Model X sustained enough damage to require towing away from the scene.
The Tesla owner told police that the car had got confused due to the lane markings and instead of either going straight or taking the Adams Lane Exit, it went down the middle and struck a number of objects before coming to a halt. He maintained that the car would not relinquish control despite his best efforts. This is not the first time a Tesla owner has blamed the car for causing an accident and Tesla was quick to release a statement following the crash on Monday.
"Safety is the top priority at Tesla, and we engineer and build our cars with this in mind. We also ask our customers to exercise safe behavior when using our vehicles, including following the car's instructions for remaining alert and present when using Autopilot and to be prepared to take control at all times. A driver can easily override Autopilot by lightly touching the steering wheel or brakes," Tesla said in a statement.
Tesla went on to say that there has not been a single instance of the Autopilot refusing to disengage since its introduction in 2015 and the brakes have an independent bypass circuit that cuts power to the motor no matter what the Autopilot computer requests.
No charges were filed against the driver and we may not know for certain what occurred until a full investigation is carried out. If there is indeed a chance that the Autopilot was at fault then Tesla will need to act quickly to remedy the situation; if the driver is found to be at fault then he will have some explaining to do.