A Thanksgiving Day accident involved eight cars and injured nine people in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Tunnel. The driver of the car that caused the pileup---a Tesla Model S---blamed everything on the company’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) feature.
Now, surveillance footage of the accident, obtained by The Intercept, shows how it all happened.
The Tesla Model S, which reportedly had Full Self-Driving active, signaled a lane change, moved to the fast lane and then suddenly stopped, without having any car or obstacle in front of it.
Almost immediately, traffic backed up and collisions began, and in the end, nine people---including a 2-year-old child---needed medical attention. On top of that, traffic was blocked for more than an hour, according to the report published on The Intercept, messing up people’s travel plans for Thanksgiving.
To make matters worse, just hours before the accident happened, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, announced on Twitter the EV maker's Full Self-Driving Beta feature is available to anyone in North America who paid the $15,000 fee for the option.
The American car manufacturer states on its website FSD’s “currently enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.” At the same time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it’s launching an investigation into the incident that puts another question mark next to Tesla’s ability to deliver reliable driving assistants.
According to the NHTSA, Tesla vehicles were involved in almost 70% of the 392 crashes involving advanced driver-assistance systems reported from July 2021 to June 2022.
In another investigation, the federal agency asked Musk for more details after he tweeted an update is coming in January that will allow users to turn off hands-on-wheel alerts for its FSD software, after users of the feature told him they were annoyed with the high number of disengagements.