Chinese Tesla Owner Falsely Claims Autopilot Caused Crash

According to Chinese media reports, on the evening of July 29, a traffic accident occurred in a park in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. The car owner claimed that he was sitting in the co-pilot seat, and that Tesla’s automatic assisted driving function operated the car to hit a street lamp.

The accident scene (Source: Southern Metropolis Daily)

The individual said that he had consumed alcohol at dinner, so he was going to use a designated driver to get home. However, the designated driver he called couldn’t enter the north gate of the park where the owner was located, so the owner sat in the passenger seat and launched Tesla’s autopilot assisted driving function to bring the car to the north gate. During the process, the vehicle reportedly rushed off the road, knocked down a lamp post and hit a roadside bench.

After this accident, Tesla responded that the owner’s statement was untrue: “According to Tesla gravity-sensing settings, if the driver does not sit in the driver’s seat, the vehicle will not start.”

Domestic media outlet The Paper reported on August 2 that after traffic police arrived at the scene of the accident, they tested the owner for alcohol and took the owner away for blood testing. At present, the traffic police department has obtained preliminary results, saying that before the accident, there was only one driver in the car, who sat in the driver’s seat all the way. The test results showed that the car owners blood ethanol content was 86.6 mg/100 ml, officially classified as drunk driving.

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Subsequently, the traffic police revoked the owner’s driver’s license for the illegal act of drunk driving, and he will not obtain it again for five years. The accident is still under further investigation.

Tesla currently sells cars equipped with L2 automatic assisted driving in China. This level of assisted driving must be used when the driver is conscious. The automated driving assistance system only plays an auxiliary function. If the owner does not hold their hands on the steering wheel for a long time, the vehicle may automatically cancel the system.