Moscow crash raises new questions about Tesla autopilot


Tretyakov, who is head of the Arikapital investmet company, said he broke his leg in the accident and that his two children suffered minor bruises.

A Tesla Model 3 vehicle caught fire after crashing in Moscow on Saturday evening, according to reports. In its quarterly safety reports, Tesla claims that it is safer to drive on Autopilot but that diligence needs to be practiced by the driver. According to reports, the vehicle was reportedly on Autopilot at the time of the accident.

Allegedly, the vehicle was cruising in the left lane with the Autopilot turned on.

Asked in a video published on REN TV website if he was using an Autopilot self-driving system, driver Alexei Tretyakov said he was in a drive assistance mode in which he was still holding the steering wheel. The driver's hands weren't on the wheel and no "evasive maneuvers" had been executed prior to the collision. The vehicle has now been confirmed to have been on Autopilot.

A similar incident in 2016 was also attributed to an overreliance on Tesla's semi-autonomous driving software.

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As to the specifics of the crash, Tretyakov said he was driving at about 60 miles per hour when he abruptly collided with a tow truck that had escaped his line of sight for some reason.

This incident isn't the first to involve the electric-carmaker's Autopilot system.

It was not immediately clear what type of Tesla the driver was operating.

State-run news agency RIA shared a clip of the Tesla Model 3 traveling in the left lane of Moscow's Ring Road (MKAD), before colliding with a tow truck parked by a safety fence around 9 p.m. Moscow time.

Joe Young, media relations associate for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), demonstrates a front crash prevention test on a 2018 Tesla Model 3 at the IIHS-HLDI Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Virginia, U.S., July 22, 2019. "In order to avoid misinterpretation of these numbers and provide a meaningful comparison to industry data, Tesla will publish an update to vehicle fire data annually".