A Tesla Model S owner claims that his car started itself and crashed into and under a parked flatbed trailer, adding to a growing list of concerns about safety of autonomous driving technology.
Owner Shocked To Find Tesla Model S Crashed Into Trailer
Jared Overton says that he parked his Tesla Model S behind a flatbed trailer in Lindon, Utah, on April 29 during an errand-running session. A man walked over to Overton and asked him questions about the Tesla. Overton says that he talked to the man for 20 to 60 seconds, then went inside a business. When Overton came out of the business a few minutes later, he found that his car had somehow crashed into and driven under a flatbed trailer, leaving the windshield smashed.
Tesla Blames Human Error For Crash
When Overton complained to Tesla about his vehicle starting up on its own and crashing, they reviewed the car’s logs and determined that Overton had somehow put the car into “Summon” mode, which allows the car to park itself, along with other functions.
In a letter, Tesla claimed that Overton was at fault for the crash: “Tesla has reviewed the vehicle’s logs, which show that the incident occurred as a result of the driver not being properly attentive to the vehicle’s surroundings while using the Summon feature or maintaining responsibility for safely controlling the vehicle at all times…[the Summon feature] was initiated by a double-press of the gear selector stalk button, shifting from Drive to Park and requesting Summon activation…”
Overton disputes Tesla’s claims. He says that he stood by the car long enough that it would have started the parking process even if he had accidentally put the car in Summon mode, which he doesn’t believe that he did. He claims that Tesla essentially dismissed the testimony of two witnesses to a massive flaw in their system.
The Summon feature is still in Beta testing.