Video: Self-driving Tesla Crashes into Airplane
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Video: Self-driving Tesla Crashes into Airplane

airplane in the road

Last week, a self-driving Tesla Model X completely missed the fact that there was an airplane in front of it, and promptly crashed into it— causing tens of thousands of dollars of damage.

The internet’s most dedicated Tesla supporters are busily trying to make the incident involving a self-driving Tesla Model X and a $3.5 million private aircraft seem like “an edge case.” And, while it’s technically true that you don’t often see an airplane on public roads, where most Teslas “live,” it feels a bit disingenuous to cry “edge case” on a large, stationary object that is, in fact, several times larger than the Tesla that ran into it.

One especially ardent Tesla fan, who goes by Whole Mars Catalog on Twitter, actually seemed to try to blame the car’s driver owner. Who— remember!— wasn’t even inside the car when the crash happened. They actually go so far as to call the car’s owner (who wasn’t driving) the “driver,” and then call the car’s owner “stupid” for watching helplessly as their six-figure luxury car disfigures a ten-figure private aircraft. (!)


To their credit, Tesla vehicles collect and share a ton of data with each other to constantly improve their collective ability to react to new obstacles. Is an airplane a “new” obstacle? Sure— and this may very well make future Teslas more likely to avoid … airplanes?

What do you guys think— is this scenario so far out there that it doesn’t matter, or does a self-driving car’s failure to avoid a “large, stationary object in the middle of the road” make you think twice about the capabilities of Tesla’s autonomous software? Let us know, in the comments.



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