According to Jalopnik, a Tesla driver told the first responders at the scene that the car’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta software braked unexpectedly, which caused a multi-car pileup in the San Francisco Bay area on Thanksgiving day. Nine people had mild injuries as a result of the incident.
Since then, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) has come forward with more details, as reported by ABC7. Some of the details came from amateur various videos of the event, which we’ve shared as part of the newscasts above.
One video reveals the Tesla changing lanes and then slowing down, but there’s no way to prove that FSD beta was in control of the car, aside from the driver’s account of the situation. Despite the reporter’s words at the beginning of the above video, the CHP has also clarified that it can’t confirm if Tesla’s FSD was active when the crash occurred.
Keep in mind that the driver must remain in control of the car in every situation, regardless of whether the advanced driver-assist system software is engaged.
The crash happened in the middle of Thanksgiving day on Interstate 80 east of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, California. It involved a total of 16 people and forced part of the freeway to close for well over an hour. At least two people were taken to the hospital, and one was a child.
According to the police report, the Tesla Model S was moving at around 55 mph when it changed lanes to the furthest left lane and then braked suddenly until the car was only moving about 20 mph. This caused a pileup involving eight cars in a tunnel.
Tesla Autopilot and the company’s Full Self-Driving beta capability package are currently under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). There have been many reports of unexpected braking.
According to the NHTSA, it has received hundreds of complaints from owners of Tesla vehicles who have safety concerns related to the software. Moreover, multiple Tesla vehicles have crashed into first responder vehicles while the technology may have been engaged. However, the government regulator has yet to recall the technology.
This is a developing story. The NHTSA is still getting more information related to the crash from both Tesla and the CHP.