A Tesla Model X owner crashed in a park in China on July 29, 2022. The electric SUV reportedly left the road and crashed while it was on Autopilot. No one was injured, and the owner, who was alone in the car, was able to walk away, but the authorities were involved.
When the police showed up, they determined that there was no one in harm’s way, and the Tesla Model X SUV’s battery pack didn’t seem to be a cause for concern. There was no fire, and since it was late at night at a park, there were no other vehicles around.
According to Teslarati, the Model X owner told the authorities that he had alcohol at dinner, but didn’t have a safe ride home. He asked someone to drive him home, but they would only meet him at the opposite end of the park from where his Model X was parked. He said he sat in the passenger seat and let Tesla Autopilot take his car across the park to the north gate.
The authorities responding to the incident tested the Tesla owner’s blood alcohol level, which proved he was over the legal limit. The crash was considered a drunk driving accident. According to Pandaily, Tesla China was also able to prove that the driver was actually in the driver’s seat during the crash, not the passenger’s seat.
The automaker went on to say that the car wouldn’t start if the driver was sitting elsewhere. However, the Model X owner may have watched videos or read articles on the internet teaching them to trick Tesla’s safety systems. As you may remember, one such video was shared by Consumer Reports last year.
At any rate, Tesla China has alerted the media that there are videos on the internet teaching people how to circumvent Autopilot’s safety systems. Tesla China explained:
“We do not recommend doing this, because when the car enters automatic driving, if the vehicle has an accident, it is still the person’s full responsibility, and according to the relevant provisions of the ‘Road Traffic Safety Law,’ the driver should be in in the driver’s seat.”
We’re glad to see that Tesla is pointing this out. It’s also positive to learn that the drunk Model X driver lost his license. He reportedly won’t be able to drive again for five years. We can only hope Tesla will engage with the media in the US, and that the authorities in our country would come to a similar decision if a drunk driver were to blame a car for a crash.
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