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FSD Beta Attempts to Kill Me; Causes Accident

Long time lurker, first time poster. I have been trying to work with Tesla to resolve this issue out of the public domain, but they have been characteristically terrible and honestly don't seem to care. Over the last 3 weeks, I have sent multiple emails, followed up via phone calls, escalated through my local service center, and nobody from Tesla corporate has even emailed or called to say they are looking into this. One of my local service center technicians opened a case with engineering, which she said would take 90 days to review. I find that absurd, especially when Tesla is releasing new versions every 2 weeks. I think it's important for people to be extra cautious about which roads they engage FSD beta on, especially since Tesla seems to be ignoring my report entirely.

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This incident happened almost 3 weeks ago on Monday, November 22nd at around 6:15 in the evening, just shortly after the sun had set. I was driving my Tesla Model Y on a two-lane rural road and had FSD engaged. The car was still on version 10.4 at the time. It was a clear night, no rain or adverse weather conditions. Everything was going fine, and I had previously used FSD beta on this stretch of road before without a problem. There was some occasional phantom braking, but that had been sort of common with 10.4.

A right banked curve in this two lane road came up with a vehicle coming around the curve the opposite direction. The Model Y slowed slightly and began making the turn properly and without cause for concern. Suddenly, about 40% of the way through the turn, the Model Y straightened the wheel and crossed over the center line into the direct path of the oncoming vehicle. I reacted as quickly as I could, trying to pull the vehicle back into the lane. I really did not have a lot of time to react, so chose to override FSD by turning the steering wheel since my hands were already on the wheel and I felt this would be the fastest way to avoid a front overlap collision with the oncoming vehicle. When I attempted to pull the vehicle back into my lane, I lost control and skidded off into a ditch and through the woods.

I was pretty shaken up and the car was in pieces. I called for a tow, but I live in a pretty rural area and could not find a tow truck driver who would touch a Tesla. I tried moving the car and heard underbody shields and covers rubbing against the moving wheels. I ended up getting out with a utility knife, climbing under the car, and cutting out several shields, wheel well liners, and other plastic bits that were lodged into the wheels. Surprisingly, the car was drivable and I was able to drive it to the body shop.

Right after the accident, I made the mistake of putting it in park and getting out of the vehicle first to check the situation before I hit the dashcam save button. The drive to the body shop was over an hour long, so the footage was overridden. Luckily, I was able to use some forensic file recovery software to recover the footage off the external hard drive I had plugged in.

In the footage, you can see the vehicle leave the lane, and within about 10 frames, I had already begun pulling back into the lane before losing control and skidding off the road. Since Teslacam records at about 36 frames per second, this would mean I reacted within about 360ms of the lane departure. I understand it is my responsibility to pay attention and maintain control of the vehicle, which I agreed to when I enrolled in FSD beta. I was paying attention, but human reaction does not get much faster than this and I am not sure how I could have otherwise avoided this incident. The speed limit on this road is 55mph. I would estimate FSD was probably going about 45-50mph, but have no way to confirm. I think the corrective steering I applied was too sharp given the speed the vehicle was going, and I lost grip with the pavement. On the 40% speed slowed down version of the clip, you can sort of see the back end of the car break loose in the way the front end starts to wiggle as the mailbox makes its way to the left side of the frame.

Surprisingly, I somehow managed to steer this flying car through a mini-forest, avoiding several trees (although I did knock off the driver's side mirror). There is no side panel damage whatsoever. The bumper cover is ruined and the car sustained fairly severe structural/suspension damage, both front and rear suspension components.

Luckily, nobody was hurt (except my poor car). I could not imagine the weight on my conscience if I had been too slow to intervene and ended up striking that oncoming vehicle. Front overlap collisions are some of the most deadly ways to crash a car, and bodily injury would have been very likely.

I have a perfect driving record and have never had an at-fault accident in the over 10 years I have been licensed. The thought of filing an insurance claim and increasing my premiums over this incident makes me sick. I am considering legal action against Tesla, but I'm not going to get into that here. Just wanted to make everyone aware and hyper-vigilant about FSD. I thought I was, but then this happened. I am going to be much more careful about the situations in which I decide to engage it. There is too much at stake, it is not mature enough, and frankly, Tesla's apathy and lack of communication around this incident really concerns me, as both an owner and a road-user.


tl;dr: Be careful with FSD, folks. And if you get into an accident, hit the dashcam save button or honk your horn before you put it in park.



Display of a Tesla car on autopilot mode showing current speed, remaining estimated range, speed limit and presence of vehicles on motorway lanes” by Marco Verch is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
 
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What I am hearing is a lot of people need to be reminded that they are using a BETA and that THEY chose to let a computer drive, knowing it was far from perfect and in BETA. Then I hear they want to sue Tesla for doing exactly what it told you it was doing and to be ready to take over at any time. I am glad that you are ok, but maybe you don't use the BETA anymore? Maybe you are not the type of driver that should have any assistance because you do better when in FULL control.
 
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drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
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Sounds like you're the one that crashed?
It's kinda tricky. TL;DR yes he did, in that he lost control when he took over from FSD and ran off the road. It's unclear how much attention he was paying, and it looks like he WAY over-compensated when he took control. OTOH no-one knows that would have happened had he let the car continue, nor why the car reacted that way. Clearly, FSD has rarely if ever done things like that or we would be now have a LOT of accident reports.
 
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It's kinda tricky. TL;DR yes he did, in that he lost control when he took over from FSD and ran off the road. It's unclear how much attention he was paying, and it looks like he WAY over-compensated when he took control. OTOH no-one knows that would have happened had he let the car continue, nor why the car reacted that way. Clearly, FSD has rarely if ever done things like that or we would be now have a LOT of accident reports.
Was he sitting in the passenger seat? That is a seating position from where one would think the car is over the center line.
 
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