Another crash involving a Tesla that was reportedly driving in Autopilot mode occurred this time involving a Model X and a highway guard rail. The Detroit Free Press reports that driver Albert Scaglione was injured after his Tesla SUV was involved in a crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near the town of Bedford situated approximately 100 miles east of Pittsburgh.
In the crash report filed by Pennsylvania State Police Dale Vukovich who responded to the accident, Scaglione told the officer that he had activated the Autopilot feature on his Model X before it struck a guard rail and concrete medium and rolled onto its roof. Officer Vukovich indicated that he will likely cite the Model X owner for a violation but declined to specify the amount for the charge.
The accident took place just one day after the NHTSA revealed that another Tesla was involved in a fatal crash involving a Model S owner who was driving on Autopilot and collided with a tractor trailer. This new report comes at a time when self-driving cars are under high scrutiny by the NHTSA.
Though there’s inconclusive evidence to rule that Tesla’s Autopilot was a result of Scaglione’s Model X crash, rest assured Tesla will be revisiting its tried-and-true playbook by pulling logs from its “black box” of data before revealing what really happened. We’ll be sure to report back as we learn more from Tesla.
We received the following official response from a Tesla spokesperson regarding the matter, as follows:
“We have no data to suggest that Autopilot was engaged at the time of the incident. Anytime there is a significant accident, Tesla receives a crash detection alert. As is our practice with all collisions, we immediately reached out to the customer to make sure he was safe. Until the customer responds, we are unable to further investigate.”
Tesla provided a second update confirming its position that “we have no reason to believe that Autopilot had anything to do with this accident”.
“We received an automated alert from this vehicle on July 1 indicating airbag deployment, but logs containing detailed information on the state of the vehicle controls at the time of the collision were never received. This is consistent with damage of the severity reported in the press, which can cause the antenna to fail. As we do with all crash events, we immediately reached out to the customer to confirm they were ok and offer support but were unable to reach him. We have since attempted to contact the customer three times by phone without success. Based on the information we have now, we have no reason to believe that Autopilot had anything to do with this accident.”