TSLA Tumbles: Autopilot Blamed After Tesla "Accelerates", Rolls Over Into Minnesota Marsh

Tyler Durden's picture

One reason why Tesla may be trading over 3% lower this morning is a report in the Star Tribune, according to which a Twin Cities man whose Tesla overturned in a central Minnesota marsh, is blaming the crash on the car’s “autopilot”, according to authorities. David Clark, 58, of Eden Prairie, said he was driving Saturday evening before sunset on a country road 18 miles northeast of Willmar, when the car “suddenly accelerated” and overturned in the marsh, the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Sunday.

The crash occurred after “Clark ... engaged the autopilot feature,” sending the car off eastbound 172nd Avenue NE. and rolling into the marsh, the Sheriff’s Office statement continued.  

Deputies found the 2016 Tesla upside-down. It was not immediately clear what Tesla model it was.

He told police: 'When he engaged the auto pilot (sic) feature, that the vehicle suddenly accelerated causing the car to leave the roadway and overturn.

Clark had put the electric car into its autopilot feature, and was approaching
the intersection of 141st Street and 172nd Avenue in Irving Township

Clark and four adults in the vehicle were slightly hurt.

Alleged malfunctions have plagued Tesla's autopilot in the past, most notably in May 2016, when a motorist near Gainesville, Florida, was killed when his Tesla collided with a semitrailer truck while in the self-driving mode. The crash brought intense scrutiny on the technology and whether the car’s manufacturer overstated the capability of the autopilot feature. A review by Federal investigators of the crash concluded there was no safety defect involved in the crash, and chose not to impose a recall. At the same time, regulators in January warned the vehicle’s operators to not treat the semiautonomous cars as if they are fully self-driving.

Other recent cases include the moment a Tesla Model S crashed into a highway barrier in Dallas in March, when its autopilot failed to spot the merging of traffic lanes and when a Model X crashed into a beauty salon in California.  In most cases, Tesla was able to pull the data logs from the car and found that the driver was actually to blame for ignoring alerts or not keeping their hands on the steering wheel.

A Tesla spokesperson told Jalopnik they have launched an investigation into the incident.

We are glad the driver and passengers are safe. We are working to establish the facts of the incident and have offered our full cooperation to the local authorities. We have not yet established whether the vehicle’s Autopilot feature was activated, and have no reason to believe that Autopilot, which has been found by NHTSA to reduce accident rates by 40 percent, worked other than as designed.


Every time a driver engages Autopilot, they are reminded of their responsibility to remain engaged and to be prepared to take immediate action at all times, and drivers must acknowledge their responsibility to do so before Autopilot is enabled. ?

Tesla has an impressive safety record and have scored high on rollover safety tests due to the vehicle's low center of gravity, weight and they also have a strong roof structure.Tesla's autopilot mode is not intended to be fully automated driving and the driver is required to keep hold of the steering wheel and stay alert at all times, according to the company's website. If they take their hands off the wheel, the driver receives a number of prompts and alerts to remind them to keep hold. Tesla's website also states that drivers must take command of their cars after exiting highways.

'When you reach your exit, your Tesla will depart the freeway, slow down and transition control back to you,' the website said.

It’s unclear whether a police investigation or Tesla’s data will be able to reveal more information about the incident. For now, however, shareholders are not taking any chances.

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VD's picture

warned the guy who is horrified of AI...


while his subsidized cash burn cars attempt to kill their passengers.

Looney's picture


The next logical step for Tesla is a self-driving Ejection Stool.  ;-)


BaBaBouy's picture

Meanwhile, 123587 accidents reported from human driven cars...

frenzic's picture

relativity is not your strongest point now is it

remain calm's picture

No worries Elon will take us to Mars safely, all aboard.

eclectic syncretist's picture

The car was hacked by Russians. CNN and WaPo know all about it.

BaBaBouy's picture

Pic, Is That the road where it happened, small dirt road with no median and no shoulders???

LOL, Seems like a good place to try the autopilot ...

bamawatson's picture

.... apparently he did; and it SUCKED !

Ignatius's picture

What's that smell?  Oh, yeah, Musk...

Joe Davola's picture

At least the AI had the good sense to flip over so the batteries didn't get wet and catch fire in the marsh - so all in all, this a positive for their tech!

Overfed's picture

All I know is that I want no part of any car that lacks a direct mechanical link to the steering, brakes, throttle, and ignition. Unless it can drive me home from the bar when I'm wasted.

Ghost of Porky's picture

"In 100 ft., turn right, enter swamp and make a vertical U-Turn."

sixsigma cygnusatratus's picture

"Deputies found the 2016 Tesla upside-down."

Just shut it down and restart it.  Should be fine.

IronForge's picture

That's what Uber is for.

Antifaschistische's picture

"Every time a driver engages Autopilot, they are reminded of their responsibility to remain engaged and to be prepared to take immediate action at all times, and drivers must acknowledge their responsibility to do so before Autopilot is engaged"

Translation:  Autopilot is like letting your 12 year old son drive the car.   Be prepared.

HenryKissingerBilderberg's picture

Translation:  Autopilot is like letting your 12 year old son drive the car.   Be prepared.

more like letting your dog drive the car.

King of Ruperts Land's picture

Stop calling automated driving AI. Is walking "intelligence". I don't thing driving is "Intelligence"

Pool Shark's picture

After Elon's comments about how the Robots will be coming for us, I have to ask the question:

Was John Connor aboard?


Moe Hamhead's picture

We have an auto-pilot; but you need to pay attention, keep your eyes on the road ahead, your hands on the wheel, and your foot near the brake pedal.

bloostar's picture

Check the google street view.. it's a dirt track alright.. wtf would you engage autopilot there for? It's essentially a field!

Moe Hamhead's picture

Well where else would you want to take a taxpayer funded joyride?  A driver and four adults! They must have had a reaason to be there.  Oh, I forgot, Teslas are resticted to the straight and narrow, not the "long and winding road" (Paul McCarney must not drive a Tesla).

Arnold's picture

In Elon's defense, my internet connection has been buggy lately.

If his software /hardware interface is GPS linked, there is a world of self driving hurt coming.


VD's picture

"Meanwhile, 123587 accidents reported from human driven cars... " yeah, and what % are TSLA cars? thank you for the dumbest comment du jour.

tmosley's picture

Fewer than than the non-Tesla cars per capita, as the Tesla cars incorporate numerous non-standard safety features like automatic braking and steering in order to avoid accidents.

Failing to confirm your bias does not make a comment, nor a user "dumbest".

VD's picture

yes, i was wrong. and it was dumbest comment, not user. ergo, my comment is dumbest du jour!

peippe's picture

you're missing the humor here, some brainiac put his tesla 

into self-driving mode & it went full retard. 

 Zero serious injuries, just bruised Pride In Ownership. 

It's hilarious. These cars are trying to commit autocide.


enfield0916's picture

It's all the dumbfuck libs moving to Texas who can't use blinkers or don't know their cars are equipped with them. They sell their God awful tiny, overpriced houses for a million bucks and move to Texas and buy a fucking Tesla.

One of the most HIDEOUS cars with a front end I have ever seen. Looks like it's trying to sell me toothpaste with the ugly ass grin on it's grill.

Everytime I am riding on my motorcycle the Dallas North Tollway, there's another CA plate idiot talking on the cell phone "trying to" slam me into the divider..

Half of your stated numbers are from these idiots who drive like nuts in CA, NYC or all these lib states. As usual, libsa have no rudder, moral, spiritual or traffic.

JLee2027's picture

The Tesla Autopilot will never be perfect, such things cannot be perfected.  And yet, here we go months between Tesla autopilot crashes and when one crashes, it's headline news?


Meanwhile, 123587 accidents reported from human driven cars...

Stuck on Zero's picture

Self driving cars have a terrible time with road-edge dropoffs. There's nothing to guide from. In the DARPA self-driving competition all the vehicles ran off the edge of a road. Humans have a "fear of the unknown" factor and avoid absences of danger as a danger sign. How do you teach a computer to fret over what can't be seen and understood?

GUS100CORRINA's picture

TSLA Slides: Autopilot Blamed After Tesla "Accelerates", Rolls Over Into Minnesota Marsh

My response: This is NOT good news for the market. The market manipulators are NOT going to let TSLA go down because TSLA's Market Capitaliztion is larger than FORD and almost as big as GM. It will cause havoc in the financial system with BILLIONS of DOLLARS moving quickly. TSLA is embedded in ETFs and other instruments. We have the same problem with AMZN except on a much larger scale.

Uchtdorf's picture

Proof that owners of equity are out of their minds:



Market Cap 54.31B


Market Cap 46.51B


Market Cap 51.996B
tmosley's picture

At first glance, that is crazy.

But how much debt does each company have?

land_of_the_few's picture

Lucky it didn't take off at LUDICROUS SPEED across a potato field and then start chasing steers :D

Kidbuck's picture

Message intercepted from the Tesla vehicle to Musk mission control moments before the crash, " Hold my beer and watch this."

Saucy-Jack's picture

At least these accidents can only happen within 200 miles of home!

j0nx's picture

Well I guess he won't do that again.

TheGardener's picture

Good riddance of any idiot relying on a supposedly self-driving car.  Self driving wheel chairs in pedriatic centers yes, but on the land roads autopilot never. Push them off the lane , engage their rear bumpers from an edge to make them overturn. Fuck  self driving everything including the autonomous vehicle with the bricks at the construction site.

Clear and present dangers like self driving possibly terrorist cars on public roads should be eliminated by air-to-surface means upon detection.

bamawatson's picture

i was hoping al franken & keith ellison were in the car

peippe's picture

that's too much car for 'lil al-

has to be driving a subaru or wetting his pants waiting for the all voltage volvo.

TheGardener's picture

I`ll stand by my comments, fuck self driving everything. 

Motoring is a curse on its own right but all those self driving follies are truly evil in their own right.

What about AI supported mini drones with swarm intelligence to hit the atmosphere ?





tmosley's picture

You don't belong behind the wheel of a car. Indeed, you probably belong in prison.

TheGardener's picture

What for this personal attack ? In need of friends looking for enemies? Resident fool asking for terminal removal ?

Don`t mess with me, resident troll.


Stuck on Zero's picture

You haven't driven with my 94 year old Uncle Don.

garypaul's picture

'When you reach your exit, your Tesla will depart the freeway, slow down and transition control back to you,'

So, there's a shitload of special instructions and things that you have to be careful about? Wouldn't it be a lot easier to just DRIVE THE FU*KING CAR??

bloostar's picture

As the guy behind plows into you because your car has decided to spontaneously brake for no other reason than it's exited the off ramp..

Saucy-Jack's picture

Just reverse the video and the accident didn't happen!


jmack's picture

File under: "Bleeding Edge Technologies".

CPL's picture

For all the media spins on the most advanced golf cars ever built I have a quick question:

Has anyone actually seen a telsa on the road driving around anywhere? 

For the years I've heard about them, I haven't seen a single one here in Ottawa or the area and we've got a lot of car collectors in Silicon Valley North, as of yet I haven't seen a single physical Tesla ever.  Lots of pictures, heard people talk about them.  Never actually seen one.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Here in coastal Southern California every fourth car is a Tesla it seems. After riding in a few old gasoline cars feel like fossils.