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2 die in Tesla crash - Report says "nobody was in driver seat"

alexgr

Member
Aug 13, 2019
608
515
Tulsa
Nobody needs to be lying. The relatives only said the guys went off for a drive. The brother-in-law only said he thought nobody was in the driver's seat. Therefore none of them were watching and it's a big house so they probably had no idea and didn't hear the crash. The crash would have been a crunching thump slightly around a curve 500ft away. Doubt it was all that noticeable or people would have called 911 for the crash. Most likely the car caught fire due to battery damage rather than any immediate explosion. All the other statements are consistent with the accounts. I don't sense any cover-up or lies.
But but Harman has lied already to the press about a 4-hour blaze and 30000 gallons of water.
 

Needsdecaf

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
1,050
1,228
The Woodlands, TX
Elon may be wrong too. People under oath later have also said that they "mis-spoke" their initial comments. The car could have come with FSD but it was not recently purchased. If Elon wants to commit the statement to an affidavit and say "The car never had Autopilot engaged and the car did not have any FSD features" then his statement can be taken as fact.

edit: Elon is also wrong in his second point: "Moreover, standard Autopilot would require lane lines to turn on, which this street did not have" as others have shown that AP can be enabled on streets like that one in certain circumstances.

Autopilot CANNOT be enabled on a street like this one. You're welcome to drive down here and test it out.

Should I go make a video to counter that other idiot in the video?
 

EVNow

Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2009
9,519
28,237
Seattle, WA
He says witnesses have told him that the pair were driving on autopilot.

'We have witness statements from people that said they left to test drive the vehicle without a driver and to show the friend how it can drive itself,' he said

🤣🤣🤣🤣

The important thing about this statement is that - people constantly confuse between "how car can drive itself" and "no one in driver seat". AP with TACC + lane keeping can "drive itself" under certain conditions - but not when no one is in driver's seat (without hacking). It is not at all surprising if the relatives said "how car can drive itself" and along with the fact that there was noone in driver's seat when the police saw the crashed car, the constable concluded with "100%" certainty that no one was driving the car when the crash occurred.

'We have witness statements from people that said they left to test drive the vehicle without a driver and to show the friend how it can drive itself,' he said.
 
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EVNow

Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2009
9,519
28,237
Seattle, WA
Autopilot CANNOT be enabled on a street like this one. You're welcome to drive down here and test it out.

Should I go make a video to counter that other idiot in the video?
Depends on the
- exact street / where you start
- weather ?

As I wrote above - on my street I can't engage AP. But I've engaged AP on similar roads with no center line markings. When the lanes are not clearly marked - its very fickle.
 
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Needsdecaf

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
1,050
1,228
The Woodlands, TX
Depends on the
- exact street / where you start
- weather ?

As I wrote above - on my street I can't engage AP. But I've engaged AP on similar roads with no center line markings. When the lanes are not clearly marked - its very fickle.

I live very close to the crash site, on streets with identical construction that I drive every day. In my Model 3 at least, the car will not engage Auto Steer as there are no lane markings.

If I could drive in there, I would. I could ask the people I know that live in there, but they are friend of a friend and I don't want to be an ass. My old boss used to live literally 2 streets over but he moved out about 5 years ago.
 
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EVNow

Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2009
9,519
28,237
Seattle, WA
I live very close to the crash site, on streets with identical construction that I drive every day. In my Model 3 at least, the car will not engage Auto Steer as there are no lane markings.

If I could drive in there, I would. I could ask the people I know that live in there, but they are friend of a friend and I don't want to be an ass.
Yes - more likely than not - without lane markings AP will not engage. Just wanted to say - its not an ironclad rule. Its a bit fuzzy.

ps : Essentially it depends on what the NN does - does it report lanes or not. If NN interprets the images as showing lanes AP will engage - otherwise it won't.
 

ev_go123

Member
Apr 20, 2021
25
68
VA
In theory, it could get to over 100 mph before hitting the tree in Ludicrous mode. On TACC/AP it would be much slower of course. I can go try to measure TACC acceleration in my M3 now. The story just doesn't make sense.
Yeah that would be a very interesting test!

If we run some quick numbers, assuming a generous 400 ft, a final velocity of 60 mph (I would call minimum for a deadly crash), with constant acceleration, that would call for acceleration of 2.7 m/s^2, and time of 9s. So on TACC/AP, the car must accelerate as fast or faster than a car that that does 0-60 in 9s. Overall seems plausible, barely. I would imagine TACC/AP's acceleration is a bit slower and also that the car was doing over 60 mph at the crash.

Online kinematics calculator if anyone wants to run their own numbers: Uniformly Accelerated Motion Calculator
1618952015435.png
 

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Dan D.

Member
Dec 7, 2020
359
303
Vancouver, BC
Autopilot CANNOT be enabled on a street like this one. You're welcome to drive down here and test it out.

Should I go make a video to counter that other idiot in the video?
No, firstly I imagine that the street is closed off. Secondly we don't need 100 videos proving it can't do it, we need one video that shows it can do it. That's not your job or mine, leave it to the investigators. Suffice to say that it appears AP can be activated on these streets, could be because of curbs, road seams, discoloration, chalk or paint, lines of cars. Who knows? They will find out. Seeing a few people managing to activate AP on roads without lines, for any reason is proof enough for me that it is possible.
 

MikeyC

Member
Aug 19, 2019
245
462
Florida
In my opinion, whether or not AP can be activated on a street without lane markings is not as interesting as the other cirumstances. That is, I find it hard to believe you can accelerate quickly enough within 300 feet to reach an excessive speed, engage AP, and also move to the back seat. Those circumstances alone make it very unlikely AP was engaged with the driver in the back seat. You'd have about 5 seconds to mash the throttle, gain speed, engage AP, and get from the driver's seat to the back seat. Seems like the most unlikely of all the scenarios given that very short distance they had to accelerate before the turn.

Mike
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,000
9,722
SF Bay Area
But but Harman has lied already to the press about a 4-hour blaze and 30000 gallons of water.

Think we can assume he got the water amount over the 4-hr period from the firemen on scene giving him an estimate. As for the 4-hr blaze, the accident happening around 9pm to let’s say almost 1am, when the last of the batteries cooled down enough to load the car on the flatbed. The media may have made it sound like this was a roaring blaze for 4 hrs straight by their description and what people assumed but I also read that they’d put the fire out only to have it reignite so had to keep at it until the batteries depleted their energy. I just don’t see the Constable lying about it. Doubt he is their official spokesperson for the PD. They try to be very precise in what they convey to avoid misinterpretation.

Problem I see in most of these media covered cases is that majority of people don’t know how a Tesla operates and probably have not even been in one; they’re just going by what they’ve seen in the press or on internet. The Constable was quoted as saying at one point early in this that this was the first case of it’s kind that they have responded to. Not exactly like Texas is big on promoting BEVs or embracing the technology over their gas and diesel vehicles. Local fire departments probably don’t have much experience or training on responding to EV crashes as a result. I get the impression these guys got caught unaware. With Tesla opening up a factory in Texas, I think Texans will see more Teslas and get better informed however.

The Constable’s comments on Tesla/Elon not reaching out to him and first he’s heard of Elon’s tweets, caught my attention. He likely isn’t aware of how the logs are just data that requires interpreting and will take some time for everything to be analyzed. I’d guess as soon as the car sent a crash status to homebase, a tech there was starting to examine it and only saw some basic info that was passed on to Elon. Doubt with the agencies now actively investigating this that they will want Elon saying much of anything. I know with the Mt. View, CA 101 crash they reprimanded him and Tesla for saying/releasing any info without their consent and before report was ready. Tough for Elon to do as the media attention and how it’s reported jump to statements that don’t turn out to be true and it negatively affects the stock.
 
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Needsdecaf

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
1,050
1,228
The Woodlands, TX
There are already youtube videos showing engaging AP with no markings. So, what does a video showing you can't engage AP on a road without markings prove ?


View attachment 655486

Those are different roads.

No, firstly I imagine that the street is closed off. Secondly we don't need 100 videos proving it can't do it, we need one video that shows it can do it. That's not your job or mine, leave it to the investigators. Suffice to say that it appears AP can be activated on these streets, could be because of curbs, road seams, discoloration, chalk or paint, lines of cars. Who knows? They will find out. Seeing a few people managing to activate AP on roads without lines, for any reason is proof enough for me that it is possible.

It was a rhetorical question.

In my opinion, whether or not AP can be activated on a street without lane markings is not as interesting as the other cirumstances. That is, I find it hard to believe you can accelerate quickly enough within 300 feet to reach an excessive speed, engage AP, and also move to the back seat. Those circumstances alone make it very unlikely AP was engaged with the driver in the back seat. You'd have about 5 seconds to mash the throttle, gain speed, engage AP, and get from the driver's seat to the back seat. Seems like the most unlikely of all the scenarios given that very short distance they had to accelerate before the turn.

Mike

I can't for the life of me understand why people can't get this math through their heads.
 
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Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,572
7,381
Visalia, CA
...Seeing a few people managing to activate AP on roads without lines, for any reason is proof enough for me that it is possible...

Elon should have stopped after saying the Autopilot was not on according to the log. That's a fact and that's enough.

When he additionally said that Autopilot cannot be turned on in a laneless road, then that means he has not watched youtube where there are instances that people do just that.

When people can disprove his statement about Autopilot's inability to be on a laneless road, it just damages his credibility or it might appear that he is not familiar with his own inconsistent safety system against laneless roads.
 
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Dan D.

Member
Dec 7, 2020
359
303
Vancouver, BC
The important thing about this statement is that - people constantly confuse between "how car can drive itself" and "no one in driver seat". AP with TACC + lane keeping can "drive itself" under certain conditions - but not when no one is in driver's seat (without hacking). It is not at all surprising if the relatives said "how car can drive itself" and along with the fact that there was noone in driver's seat when the police saw the crashed car, the constable concluded with "100%" certainty that no one was driving the car when the crash occurred.
That's a very good point. I hadn't considered that "the car can drive itself" could be misinterpreted. It would be believable that the driver was in the driver's seat and they drove into a tree, perhaps while launching, perhaps on the way to somewhere else where they WERE going to test Autopilot. They crashed into the tree and the driver crawled into the back and perished before being able to open the doors and get out. That would make more sense than the driverless theory. It's just the way the first responders stated their views with such certainty that there was no driver - but as you said they might all have been confused by the scene and the relatives' statements, even the one who suggested the driver could have hopped into the back.
 
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Electroman

Supporting Member
Aug 18, 2012
6,168
6,244
TX
Autopilot CANNOT be enabled on a street like this one. You're welcome to drive down here and test it out.

Should I go make a video to counter that other idiot in the video?
Do you have access to that place? Probably a gated community? Can you please do that? It will clear up a lot of confusion.
 

Electroman

Supporting Member
Aug 18, 2012
6,168
6,244
TX
One has to prove that:
1. AP can be enabled in that street starting from that same exact point where they started driving
2. AP can be enabled without a weight on the driver seat (100% not possible)
3. AP can be enabled without seat belt being buckled (100% not possible)
5. AP had wrong speed data for that road
6. AP will can race to 50 mph or above on that street

All of these has to be proved. Even of one of them is cannot be proved, then it completely absolves AP
 

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