MOUNTAIN VIEW (KPIX 5) — New video shows Tesla’s autopilot feature failing at the same location where a Tesla driver crashed and died just a couple weeks ago in Mountain View.
The autopilot feature appears to have a fatal flaw.
Driver Shantanu Joshi was commuting on Highway 101 near Highway 85 and testing out what his Tesla would do on autopilot.
“I low key freaked out, but the car definitely starts swerving left without giving me any warnings, right into that divider,” Joshi said.
A video of the incident shows the Tesla begins to veer to the left, straight into the divider, and the car never gives the driver any warnings.
When the video is slowed down, you can see parts of the white lanes are faded and the car seems to think the left side of the lane — is the right.
Fred Barez is a professor of mechanical engineering at San Jose State University.
He said, “The lanes are not marked clearly on the road, so the camera attached to the Tesla vehicle is having a difficult time.”
Barez is building his own autonomous vehicles with students. He says lanes that aren’t clearly visible can be a challenge for Tesla’s autopilot feature.
Barez said, “Tesla believes in having eight cameras all around the vehicle and they monitor the presence of the lanes on the road.”
On its website, Tesla says it’s now also using a dozen updated ultrasonic sensors “allowing for detection of objects at nearly twice the distance of the prior system.”
The company also advises its customers to keep their hands on the wheels, and to pay attention.
Barez said, “I believe the Tesla is still pretty safe. It’s just a matter of the driver having to take responsibility as well.”
The driver in the deadly crash, according to Tesla, did not take control of the wheel despite warnings.
In his video Joshi grabs the wheel seconds before his Tesla would’ve slammed into the median:
A couple years ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told reporters that California needed better lane markings, because it was confusing his cars’ autopilot feature.
Tesla did not immediately respond to KPIX 5’s request for comment on Joshi’s video.