It’s hard to blame an accident today on a car like the Tesla Model X when it’s festooned with sensors and telemetry devices that the manufacturer has access to. A man found this out the hard way when his Model X SUV plowed into the side of a building. After the accident, he claimed that the car accelerated on its own and slammed into the building.
The owner of the vehicle went so far as to all for an investigation into Tesla by the NHTSA. Tesla wasn’t having any of that and accessed the logs to see what the real cause of the accident was. Tesla said, “We analyzed the vehicle logs which confirm that this Model X was operating correctly under manual control and was never in Autopilot or cruise control at the time of the incident or in the minutes before. Data shows that the vehicle was traveling at 6 mph when the accelerator pedal was abruptly increased to 100%. Consistent with the driver’s actions, the vehicle applied torque and accelerated as instructed. Safety is the top priority at Tesla and we engineer and build our cars with this foremost in mind. We are pleased that the driver is ok and ask our customers to exercise safe behavior when using our vehicles.”
Naturally, the owner of the vehicle still wants people to believe that the Model X accelerated on its own. The tidbit in the Tesla statement that the way the vehicle performed was “consistent with the driver’s actions” indicates the logs know the difference between the driver pressing the pedal and the computer doing it in autopilot mode.