Thursday, May 26, 2022

Watch a Tesla Model X self-drive into an airplane, keep going

Here’s one for the “things that might have looked pretty cool if they’d gone well” file. This Tesla Model X drove itself into a Cirrus Vision Jet at what one Twitter user says was an aviation trade show. Details are scant, but the video’s pretty self-explanatory: Tesla’s self-driving software continues to struggle with obstacles that aren’t obviously connected to the ground whether or not there’s a driver inside. 

Not only does the Smart Summon feature send the Tesla right into the jet’s tail, but the car keeps on going after impact. That’s one expensive fender-bender. Tesla’s PR team (aka Elon’s Twitter stans) have already assured us that the person behind this Summon (whether an owner, borrower or otherwise) employed the feature incorrectly, as it is only intended to be used in spaces that are well-marked for vehicular travel/parking and free of potential obstructions, such as $2.5 million private planes. 

Their assurances aside, this of course leads us to wonder whether Tesla has been able to make any meaningful progress with Smart Summon since its somewhat shaky launch a few years ago, which prompted U.S. regulators to initiate an investigation into its safety

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