A Tesla that was not being controlled by aits driver has resulted in the death of two men inside the vehicle, according to authorities in Texas.
A report from KPRC2 reveals that one of the men was in the front passenger seat while the second was in the rear of the vehicle. The car reportedly failed to recognise a curb, ran off the road and struck a tree at high speed.
The news outlet says that the car ignited and continued to burn incessantly due to the batteries constantly reigniting the blaze. Firefighters reportedly had to contact Tesla to find out how to stop the fire.
Unfortunately, Tesla’s own safety guide for first responders for the Model S (the vehicle model involved in the incident) states that battery fires can take up to 24 hours to extinguish and as much as 11 356 litres of water would need to be applied to the battery in order to cool it down and kill the fire.
Tesla does tell drivers that Autopilot should be engaged when they are behind the wheel and that they should remain alert and ready to take control of the vehicle.
However, Tesla has drawn criticism for the lack of controls in place that prevents a driver from simply abandoning their post behind the wheel while Autopilot is enabled.
Whether this latest incident will prompt Tesla to implement additional restrictions to Autopilot is an unknown but we are doubtful given Elon Musks hesitancy to put restrictions on technology he believes is live saving when used correctly.
But folks aren’t using Autopilot “correctly” and fatal crashes involving the electric vehicle are becoming more and more common. Tesla has to do something or fatal crashes might deter more customers than a limited Autopilot feature would.