Full Self-Driving is not the culprit.
This week, Tesla drivers are back in the news, following an unfortunate meeting between a Model Y and a building.
The unknown driver was demonstrating the straight-line speed most EVs are known for. As his friend who did the filming rightly states, "when you're just going straight, that sh*t is fun." As far as famous last words go, those are pretty epic. Man, hubris is such a fun spectator sport. For the record, nobody was hurt in this accident.
The accident footage was removed from YouTube, but not before Paul Maric, an Australian motoring journalist, posted it on his Facebook feed.
There are various layers to this accident. First, you can see the suspension bottoming out as it goes past the cameraman. But it really starts going wrong after the Model Y went airborne after hitting a bump in the parking lot. The EV disappears in a cloud of dust. You hear the telltale noises of hard braking, followed by a large crash. On the way, the driver took out a neatly trimmed hedge and the front of a rather nice-looking office building.
This isn't particularly newsworthy as hubris-related accidents happen daily. But Paul Maric makes some extremely relevant comments in his post. He states that this kind of performance was usually only available in supercars and that we'll see more of these kinds of accidents as noobs get their hands on affordable, brisk EVs.
Tesla is currently working on a $25k model. Rumor has it that it will be fully autonomous, which seems a bit far-fetched. We're most likely looking at a cheaper version of the Model 3. In any case, there isn't a single Tesla that's not stupid fast. In November 2020, a Model 3 driver was speeding at 100 mph before it crashed into a utility pole, two trees, and a telephone box.
It's worth noting that this kind of stupidity is not limited to Tesla drivers. It seems to be a symptom of anyone who takes delivery of a car with ridiculous amounts of power. In May 2021, an overly enthusiastic prod of the accelerator led to the snuffing of a brand-new Ferrari 488 Pista.
The big question is whether the USA is aware of this problem and intends to do something about it. Speaking from personal experience, we used to think that 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds was fast. Until we drove our first 911 Turbo S back in 2010 and realized what indecent acceleration really felt like. With EVs democratizing Porsche-like performance, it might be worth investigating.