Tesla driver falls asleep; car smashes through 11 construction cones on NC highway

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A Tesla Model 3 driver mowed down 11 construction cones on a North Carolina highway, shared the TeslaCam video, and blamed Tesla’s Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) feature powered by Autopilot.

The driver doesn’t disclose which highway he was on during the video, but acknowledges in his observations that he is responsible for the failure

“This accident was my fault,” he wrote,” “I fell asleep at the wheel. I wasn’t sleepy prior to falling asleep or I would have done something about that. That’s actually the scary part.”

The Eletrek website, which reports on matters relating to Tesla, says the video serves as a good reminder to remain vigilant when using Autopilot, especially in construction zones.

The Model 3 driver going by “Richard FS” on YouTube was driving in the left lane on the North Carolina highway when he drove into a bunch of construction cones.

He blamed Tesla’s AEB an active safety feature powered by Autopilot, for the accident.

Tesla Model 3 with FSD option. Automatic Emergency Braking totally failed me on the one time I needed it most. With all the phantom braking events I have experienced in the 2-1/2 months I’ve owned it, it does seem like it would panic when it saw this coming.

The video shows his car hitting 11 plastic construction cones.  Fortunately, no workers were in sight, and no one was injured in the incident.

“The conclusion from that is that it is better to brake when not needed that to not brake when needed,” the driver wrote. “And that’s my point. If it’s so conservative on what constitutes a hazard then what about those 10 barrels? Yes, they’re plastic and not picked up by radar but a small child isn’t either, so it’s relying on those 3 forward facing cameras. Why didn’t it detect the barrels?”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has asserted that the electric car maker’s “autopilot” feature will soon be robust enough to allow drivers to set it for automated driving; a contention that is disputed by others observing the technology. Construction sites are among the most challenging environments for autonomous vehicles because the standard maps and images won’t work properly — and the environment is dynamically changing, with many vulnerable workers on the site.

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