Tesla Autopilot Blamed For Model X Rollover Crash On Narrow Pennsylvania Turnpike

tesla autopilot
It seems as though Tesla Motors just can’t catch a break these days. Last week, the company reported that it was under investigation by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) after a driver was killed using Autopilot in a Model S EV. While blaming fingers quickly pointed to Tesla, it was shortly thereafter revealed that the driver of the vehicle was in fact watching a Harry Potter movie when he collided with a big rig (which neither he for obvious reasons nor the Model S’ forward-looking cameras managed to notice).

Now it’s being reported that Autopilot was enabled in another recent Tesla EV crash, although luckily, this accident wasn’t fatal. The driver of a Model X was traveling eastbound along the narrow Pennsylvania Turnpike when the vehicle veered into a guard rail that was located on the right-hand side of the road. The vehicle bounced off the guardrail, careened into the concrete median, flipped over on its roof, and skidded to a stop in the middle of the roadway.

At this time, we don’t know how fast the vehicle was traveling at the time of the accident, but the driver of the vehicle, Albert Scaglione, and his passenger were uninjured during the incident.

model x

Pennsylvania residents that frequently travel along the turnpike have to pay close attention to maintaining lane control due to narrow width of the roadway. Leaving such controls in the hands of Autopilot, which is still labeled as being in beta, was perhaps not the smartest thing to do in hindsight. However, when you label a semi-autonomous driving aid as “Autopilot”, you’re bound to have more than a few people that will take that nomenclature at face value.

For its part, Tesla has not commented on the details surrounding this latest accident. However, given that this story is now public, we’re sure that the company will either issue a press release or make a blog posting to minimize the impact of the accident and the reputation of Autopilot.

This latest accident is the fourth in a string of “misses” for the company over the past month. Besides the two Autopilot crashes, Wall Street smacked Tesla around a bit when it announced plans to acquire SolarCity to diversify its operations, and the company announced over the weekend (typically the time to announce bad news that you want quickly buried) that it missed delivery targets for its EVs during the second quarter.