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


...hit a breakthrough by seemingly reaching someone at Tesla.


The SpaceX enthusiast failed to get in touch with Tesla but was able to send a report to the NTSB, tipping off the agency about the additional video evidence in Herman's office. 


During Teslarati’s conversation with the informant and the Tesla advocate, both noted they were not really sure if their information reached the right entities. However, something happened not long after which suggested that it did. 


The Lie Unravels


On May 10, the NTSB published its preliminary report about the Tesla Model S’ fatal Texas crash. As per the NTSB’s report, “footage from the owner’s home security camera shows the owner entering the car’s driver’s seat and the passenger entering the front passenger seat.”


Apart from this, the NTSB also noted tests of a similar vehicle at the crash location showed Autopilot could not be engaged in the area, just as Tesla and the electric vehicle community suggested amidst the initial wave of “Autopilot crash” reports. The investigation is ongoing, of course, but based on what the NTSB has published so far, it appears Autopilot has been absolved in the incident. 


The findings presented in the NTSB’s report all but confirmed what Musk and Tesla supporters were arguing online. It may be disappointing to media outlets like VICE, but as it turned out, the conspiracy theorist-like behavior exhibited by some Tesla sleuths online turned out to be justified.


There really was misinformation being floated around, and if it wasn’t for the efforts of a few individuals, pertinent information about the incident might not have been submitted to Tesla or the NTSB on time. 


Herman has remained silent for now. Teslarati has attempted to reach out to his office through email but was unsuccessful. Herman, at least for now, seems...