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[UPDATED] 2 die in Tesla crash - NHTSA reports driver seat occupied

diplomat33

Average guy who loves autonomous vehicles
Aug 3, 2017
8,545
12,091
Terre Haute, IN USA
"Two men are dead after a Tesla traveling in Spring crashed into a tree and no one was driving the vehicle, officials say.

The crash happened at 11:25 p.m. in the Carlton Woods subdivision near The Woodlands. The car burst into flames after hitting a tree near 18 Hammock Dunes Place.

Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman told KPRC 2 that the investigation showed “no one was driving” the fully-electric 2019 Tesla when the accident happened. There was a person in the passenger seat of the front of the car and in the rear passenger seat of the car."


This is horrible and tragic.

Sounds like the men tried to pretend the car is driverless, like we see in the prank videos, but this time, with deadly consequences. It is also possible that they were driving manually, joy riding, went too fast and lost control. When the crash happened, the driver tried to crawl in the back seat to get out, but was unable to before the car caught fire, but it gave the impression the car was driverless when it was not.

We should wait for the final report. But it is terrible either way.
 
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four-walling

Member
Jun 25, 2017
33
39
SoCal
“It is also possible that they were driving manually, joy riding, went too fast and lost control. When the crash happened, the driver tried to crawl in the back seat to get out, but was unable to before the car caught fire, but it gave the impression the car was driverless when it was not”

-what a stretch.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,514
13,422
Riverside Co. CA
Already a lead story in the WSJ.
prayers for the families, facts needed before media starts running with this
(personal opinions only, not representative of TMC of anyone else but myself)

Its a sad situation, for sure. Because it has the word "Tesla" in it, no one will wait for facts, though. Just like people rush to post this stuff here, people will rush to "discuss" it everywhere, and make up their own facts before they know anything about what happened. There will be waaay more focus on "the tesla" vs "2 people lost their lives".
 

totoro722

Member
Supporting Member
May 21, 2020
172
193
Coastal Orange County CA
This is terrible for the dead and their families, but also terrible for Tesla. We can see from YouTube posts that even with all of the warnings given by Tesla that it is not autonomous driving, people try to make it do that anyway. I fear with the wide release of FSD beta that there may be many more such incidents. You can’t stop stupid, but it may be Tesla that pays the price on this. Read the comments below the story, and you see how many people blame Tesla for this, thinking that what these people did was encouraged by Tesla. Things like that are hard to overcome.
 
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diplomat33

Average guy who loves autonomous vehicles
Aug 3, 2017
8,545
12,091
Terre Haute, IN USA
“It is also possible that they were driving manually, joy riding, went too fast and lost control. When the crash happened, the driver tried to crawl in the back seat to get out, but was unable to before the car caught fire, but it gave the impression the car was driverless when it was not”

-what a stretch.

It's a stretch yes. I am just trying to offer an alternative that does not involve AP.
 

diplomat33

Average guy who loves autonomous vehicles
Aug 3, 2017
8,545
12,091
Terre Haute, IN USA
Sad to hear. Question though-can autopilot be engaged when no one is in the driver’s seat? My guess would be “no” but not sure.

I don't think so. But the person may have engaged AP in the driver seat and then crawled into the passenger seat while AP was on. We've seen that in videos.
 

pitabun

Member
Jan 15, 2019
153
429
Irvine, CA
It surprises me that the car, when engaging AP, only checks the steering wheel torque to keep it enabled.

With all the sensors it offers: Driver facing camera, seat weight distribution, seat belt, any could have prevented something like this, and it seems Tesla is more interested in just chasing 9's.

<<after reading other comments, I see that other prevention methods are active but people get around them. There's little Tesla can do to solve human. stupidity>>
 
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gigawatt1010

Member
Aug 21, 2016
499
528
Orange County, New York
What a tragic situation and yes, prayers and condolences to the families involved.

Having the word Tesla will definitely make this story spread like wild fire. I am almost certain auto pilot will disengage if you took your seat belt off, let alone getting your ass off the seat. So I'm pretty sure Autopilot is not engaged when the crash happened. I am also sure AP will be the lead story in the coming days.
 
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Alset Srotom

Member
Jun 1, 2019
256
432
USA
This is pure FUD. If you remove the weight in the driver seat the car shuts down and goes into park. This didn't happen as reported.
It is true that AP checks for weight and seatbelt as well as torque on the steering wheel, but these checks can be defeated pretty easily if someone chose to do so.
 
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EVNow

Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2009
11,694
32,350
Seattle, WA
“It is also possible that they were driving manually, joy riding, went too fast and lost control. When the crash happened, the driver tried to crawl in the back seat to get out, but was unable to before the car caught fire, but it gave the impression the car was driverless when it was not”

-what a stretch.
Not that much of a stretch. AP will disengage if the driver gets out of the drivers seat ....
 

EVNow

Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2009
11,694
32,350
Seattle, WA
It is true that AP checks for weight and seatbelt as well as torque on the steering wheel, but these checks can be defeated pretty easily if someone chose to do so.
Like keep the seat belt on - but somehow wiggle out while placing a heavy object on the seat ? I'd give them the Darwin award.

I think trying to get out of the car from back because the front door is jammed sounds more likely to me.
 

EVDRVN

Active Member
May 12, 2018
1,517
2,369
North Bay Area
This is pure FUD. If you remove the weight in the driver seat the car shuts down and goes into park. This didn't happen as reported.

Most people doing a stunt like that buckle the belt behind them and put weight on the seat before they sit on it. So they can easily vacate the seat once they get going.
So this 60 year old guy went to all that trouble and set the AP to high speed in the first couple blocks of leaving the house? Since the car is a P my guess is in showing off to a friend or friend not familiar with the car (if driving) car was being driven fast, lost control and people tried to get out. This all happened in a short time period not on a highway with time to "rig" the car and not sure how it would get to a high rate of speed to do that damage. Does not make sense for all the effort to rig it and on a residential street at these speeds.
 

EVNow

Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2009
11,694
32,350
Seattle, WA
Most people doing a stunt like that buckle the belt behind them and put weight on the seat before they sit on it. So they can easily vacate the seat once they get going.
Intentionally trying to die is not limited to driving situations - but horrendous because they are putting other people's life in danger as well.
 
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Huskyf

Member
Jan 6, 2018
552
1,312
Geneva - CH
I saw plenty of accident with m3 cars rarely they caught on fire , this accident certainly append at very high speed !
Are the drivers are drunk ? Normally yo have a emergency open door manual open door no need energy for that why on the rear seat they not use it ???
 

S4WRXTTCS

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
5,862
7,049
Snohomish, WA
It surprises me that the car, when engaging AP, only checks the steering wheel torque to keep it enabled.

With all the sensors it offers: Driver facing camera, seat weight distribution, seat belt, any could have prevented something like this, and it seems Tesla is more interested in just chasing 9's.

<<after reading other comments, I see that other prevention methods are active but people get around them. There's little Tesla can do to solve human. stupidity>>

It definitely checks the seatbelt as it won't let me take off my coat while driving with AP enabled.

I simply can't see how AP was engaged in this incident due to the high rate of speed in a neighborhood cul-de-sac. Supposedly they crashed within a few hundred yards of where they started.
 

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