Tesla crash victim lauded full self-driving in videos on Tiktok
A Tesla driver killed in a recent California crash lauded the automaker’s “absolute self-driving” capabilities and shared videos on his Tiktok account in which he tried to drive with his hands off the wheel.
On May 5, a Tesla Model 3 collided with an overturned truck on a Fontana highway, killing the Tesla driver and wounding the truck driver and a motorist who had stopped to assist him.
According to the Associated Press, a provisional report determined that the Tesla’s driver assistance feature Autopilot was enabled prior to the accident.
However, in a late-Friday clarification, police said, “There has not been a final decision made as to what driving mode the Tesla was in.”
Two videos of a man driving with his hands off the steering wheel were shared on the victim’s suspected Tiktok website, 35-year-old Steven Hendrickson of Running Springs, California.
“What would I do after a hard day at work if I didn’t have my fully self-driving Tesla?” asked one post. “Coming home from LA after college, thank Heaven, self-drive,” said one commenter, adding, “Best vehicle ever!”
Tesla called the driver assistance capabilities “Autopilot” or “Complete Self-driving,” which critics believe can trick customers into thinking the vehicle would drive itself.
Tesla’s Autopilot functionality, according to its website, does not render the vehicle autonomous.
Hendrickson posted a video to his Facebook account while travelling on autopilot, stating, “Don’t be concerned. I’m operating on autopilot.”
Family members could not be reached for comment, and Tesla, which has dissolved its public relations departments, could not be reached for comment.
Tesla Club-SoCal, a party of Southern California Tesla owners, said on social media that he was an involved participant who “loved his Tesla.” It was also mentioned that he is survived by his wife and two daughters.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking at more than a dozen Tesla accidents, including the Fontana accident and a high-profile one in Texas last month that killed two persons.
At least three Tesla vehicles running on Autopilot have been involved in deadly accidents since 2016, two of which involved a Tesla car passing under a semi-truck in Florida.
According to the United States Transportation Safety Board, Tesla’s autopilot technology failed to identify a truck when it entered the car’s course, leading to the collisions, which were also exacerbated by a lack of driver focus and an appropriate driver monitoring system.