A Utah man is asking Tesla to investigate after he claims his Model S drove itself into a parked tractor-trailer. The Fremont manufacturer, meanwhile, rejects the allegation that its self-driving software is to blame, and instead argues that the fault lies with the car's owner. This all went down on April 29, reports KSL, and car owner Jared Overton is not happy with the company's handling of the situation.
"I think it behooves them to figure out what happened, what happened with the vehicle, address it,” Overton told the publication. “Just fix it.”
Who is at fault apparently hinges on a feature that Tesla claims is still in beta mode. "Summon," as it is known, is a self-driving and parking mode that according to the company enables the car to do things like "open your garage door, enter your garage, park itself, and shut down." According to Overton, it also enables it to crash itself.
Overton says that he parked his car, got out, chatted a few moments with a curious passerby interested in the car, and then went in a store. When he came out five minutes later, he says the car was pinned underneath the trailer. “We were trying to figure out how on earth the vehicle started on its own,” Overton said. “What happened with this kind of rogue vehicle?”
"Tesla has reviewed the vehicle’s logs," reads a statement from a Tesla regional service manager reported on by Hot Hardware, "which show that the incident occurred as a result of the driver not being properly attentive to the vehicle’s surroundings while using the Summon feature or maintaining responsibility for safely controlling the vehicle at all times."
In other words, Tesla says it's on Overton. And anyway, the summon feature is still in beta and meant to be used "on private property" at this stage. Overton, who says it's not about money as the damage totaled around $700, is calling BS.
“They can tell me what they want to tell me with the logs, but it doesn’t change what we know happened here," he says. “Imagine if a child was right there — I guarantee that they would be responding to this a lot differently. I will not feel safe with my little boy playing in the garage or the driveway if there’s the potential for a rogue vehicle.”