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Tesla Car Driver Claims Was On Autopilot Smashes Into Overturned Lorry

Tesla Car Driver Claims Was On Autopilot Smashes Into Overturned Lorry

The moment a Tesla car crashed into an overturned lorry on a Taiwanese motorway was captured by a traffic camera. According to local media, the driver told police the car was on Autopilot at the time of the crash.

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The incident occurred on 1 June on the National Freeway 1 at 6.44am local time in Taiwan's southwestern Chiayi County.

The Model 3 Tesla was travelling at 68mph on Autopilot and appeared not to spot the large obstacle in front of it.

The 53-year old driver Mr Huang told police he tried to brake as soon as he saw the truck, but it was too late and he crashed into the lorry.

The truck's driver, 36-year-old Mr Yeh, is visible in the video, standing by the central reservation and waving at the Tesla in an attempt to get the driver's attention.

He had been transporting condiments and foodstuffs when the lorry overturned - photos after the incident occurred show the Tesla covered in sauce from the back of the lorry.

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Credit: AsiaWire /Lin Yan
Credit: AsiaWire /Lin Yan

Remarkably, neither driver was seriously harmed in the incident. In fact, both refused treatment, according to Chiayi police.

After the lorry had overturned, Mr Yen had failed to put up an emergency warning triangle 100 metres (330 feet) behind his lorry as a warning, something that authorities are expected to factor into their final ruling about the incident, which is expected to be delivered within three months,

Local media in Taiwan reached out to Tesla representatives with questions about why the car's Autopilot system did not appear to notice the overturned lorry, but the company - co-founded by Elon Musk in 2003 - has yet to respond.

However, the company insists its Autopilot system should not be seen as a driverless alternative.

Credit: AsiaWire/Lin Yan
Credit: AsiaWire/Lin Yan

On the Tesla website, a general statement not related to this specific incident reads: "Autopilot advanced safety and convenience features are designed to assist you with the most burdensome parts of driving. Autopilot introduces new features and improves existing functionality to make your Tesla safer and more capable over time.

"Autopilot enables your car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically within its lane. Current Autopilot features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous."

LADbible has contacted Tesla for a comment.

Featured Image Credit: AsiaWire /Lin Yan

Topics: tesla, World News

Mischa Pearlman

Mischa is a freelance journalist usually based in either New York or London. He has written for Kerrang!, Record Collector, NME, the New York Observer and FLOOD magazine, among others. Contact him at [email protected]