Tesla comes under increased safety scrutiny after motorcycle accidents in the US

Tesla comes under increased safety scrutiny after motorcycle accidents in the US
More scrutiny involving Tesla’s Autopilot assist system in the US after accidents with motorcyclists, evidence of Autopilot not detecting child mannequins.
PHOTO: CarBuyer

Tesla's Autopilot safety assist system has come under increased scrutiny in the US once again.

The deaths of two motorcyclists are currently being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the US.

The first crash happened on July 7, 2022 in Riverside, California involving a Tesla Model Y and a Yamaha V Star motorcycle.

The second crash occurred 17 days later in Utah where a Model 3 collided with a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Both riders were pronounced dead at the scene.

This has sparked fears that there might be a problem with Tesla's driver's assistance tech – specifically that it has difficulty recognising motorcycles on the roads.

In America, of the 30 accidents where Tesla's Autopilot are suspected of being in use, 19 of those crashes resulted in deaths.

Tesla failed the stoppage test after its EV collided with the test dummy unit.

To make things worse, a recent video surfaced on Reddit of a Tesla car failing an autonomous stop test after it crashed into a dummy representing a child, as compared to the other two cars that managed to avoid the collision.


In June 2021, Tesla dropped radar sensors from its Autopliot active safety system which raised concerns over the safety of its camera-only version, Tesla Vision.

The Tesla Vision operates on eight cameras mounted around the car and with no radar. The cameras, like eyes, send images to computer networks, like the brain, which recognises and analyses objects on the road.

This scepticism that the Tesla Vision would work in darkness, sunny glare and poor weather conditions continue to be under harsh scrutiny for now.

In June this year, Tesla faced 750 cases of sudden autonomous braking reported in the Model 3 and Model Y cars in the US.

Outside of America, a Singaporean Model 3 driver came under investigation from Malaysian road authorities after being caught on video with his hands off the wheels with Tesla's Autopilot system engaged during his drive towards Kuala Lumpur.

This article was first published in CarBuyer.

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