Monday, 21 June 2021 22:38

The Tesla Autopilot Excuse: How EV Ignorance Created the Perfect Storm for a Misinformation Nightmare

Written by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati
A Tesla Model 3 that burned after a crash in April in Texas. A Tesla Model 3 that burned after a crash in April in Texas. NTSB


...the voice of reason. And in regards to the Tesla Texas crash, this was certainly the case.


After conversations with sources, some of whom have opted to remain anonymous, Teslarati could surmise it was the efforts of regular people, from electric vehicle advocates and space enthusiasts who were inspired by Musk’s SpaceX, who may have ultimately helped get the right information about the incident to the right place. 


Days after the incident, and a few weeks before the release of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) preliminary report, @GoGundam1, a Texas-based SpaceX advocate, felt alarm bells after Herman declared confidently he was 100% sure there was no one in the driver’s seat of the Model S.


Having been familiar with Musk’s companies, the SpaceX enthusiast was also knowledgeable about Tesla and its products, which made Herman’s statements seem disingenuous at best. Annoyed by the noticeably false narrative that was being formed, the space advocate sent out some feelers to test out the waters. 


The story that emerged was quite remarkable. Information gathered by citizen informants suggested by April 22, Herman’s office was already in possession of video evidence in direct contradiction to the narrative initially presented to the media. It was a disturbing thought, but informants also suggested the office of the constable had intentions to sit on the information for as long as possible.


Granted, these events may seem like they came from the plot of a semi-decent movie, but considering the relative silence from Herman following his statements of a search warrant being submitted to Tesla, it does seem like the motivations for a follow-up report clarifying the incident were not really there. 


Pertinent information about the Tesla Texas crash, no matter how valuable, would be next to useless if it did not catch the attention of the right entities. And thus, with the information gathered, the SpaceX enthusiast decided to reach out to members of the Tesla community for help.


It was a challenging task, but eventually, @LordPente, a longtime Tesla advocate, decided to lend a hand. After numerous messages to other members of the Tesla community, the longtime EV advocate appeared to...