In a startling incident in Mono City, California, a Tesla Model 3 reportedly failed to decelerate upon encountering water, leading to a crash. The vehicle’s owner, identified only as Ryan, shared his experience with the YouTube channel Wham Baam Teslacam, stating that the car “didn’t slow down before it hit water.”
During this incident, Ryan had activated the Full Self-Driving (FSD) feature, a beta system designed to automate various driving functions. While FSD has capabilities like changing lanes, recognizing stop signs, and navigating highways, Tesla has always emphasized that drivers must remain “fully attentive” and prepared to intervene.
Elaborating on the situation, Ryan detailed, “I was driving the vehicle at 60 miles an hour,” when he confronted the waterlogged stretch. As per Tesla’s official guidelines, the FSD has an “automatic emergency braking” function to counter possible collisions. However, Ryan claims that his Model 3 made no such effort, ultimately skidding into the floodwaters. Footage from the car’s cameras further revealed a “flooded” sign that was placed to warn drivers of the upcoming hazard.
This isn’t the first controversy tied to Tesla’s self-driving features. Just last year, a Tesla Model S was involved in a multi-car crash in San Francisco. The Guardian highlighted that the driver blamed the accident on a malfunction of the FSD system. Furthermore, The Washington Post disclosed that since 2019, there have been 736 accidents and 17 fatalities linked to Tesla’s Autopilot mode.
Notably, The New Yorker recently reported that Tesla requested highway safety authorities to withhold information regarding the involvement of its driver-assistance software in crashes.
Ryan is reportedly preparing legal actions against both Tesla and the city officials. Meanwhile, attempts to reach Tesla for a comment on this recent incident remain unanswered.
The increasing number of incidents related to Tesla’s advanced driving systems underscores the importance of vigilance even as automotive tech progresses.