A fairly ordinary crash involving a vehicle and a semi trailer has turned into a media scandal because it involves a Tesla Model S that apparently rolled on its own with no one inside into the trailer.
The driver and the company are of course at odds as to what caused the actual crash. A Tesla Model S owner from Utah says the vehicle’s Summon feature made it drive itself into the back of the trailer. According to the owner, the vehicle suffered a broken windshield and no one was injured. He also contended the car’s systems are at fault, while Tesla believes operator error is the actual culprit. Overton said for the local TV news station he was driving the Model S on April 29 when someone asked him a few questions – he answered and went into a nearby business. When exiting, he found the sedan under the trailer. “Imagine if a child was right there – I guarantee that they would be responding to this a lot differently,” Overton said to KSL News. “I will not feel safe with my little boy playing in the garage or the driveway if there’s the potential for a rogue vehicle.”
Meanwhile, Tesla says the vehicle’s electronic logs show Overton activating the Summon feature three seconds after closing the door. “Safety is a top priority at Tesla, and we remain committed to ensuring our cars are among the absolute safest vehicles on today’s roads. It is paramount that our customers also exercise safe behavior when using our vehicles – including remaining alert and present when using the car’s autonomous features, which can significantly improve our customers’ overall safety as well as enhance their driving experience,” responded Tesla to the accusations. According to them, the Summon feature asks drivers to agree to certain terms before activating it.