A Tesla Model 3 exploded on a Moscow highway last weekend after crashing into a parked tow truck while on Autopilot.
Tesla plans to start rolling out their fully-autonomous driving software sometime next year and turn everyone’s parked Model 3 into a self-driving Uber for people who can’t afford a car. While this will surely cause global traffic problems to explode into something approximating the gridlock apocalypse, Tesla has another problem to contend with: Autopilot keeps causing their cars to crash. And then explode.
Last weekend, a Tesla Model 3 being driven by Alexi Tretyakov crashed into a parked tow truck on a highway in Moscow. According to Reuters, Tretyakov told Russian news site REN TV that he was driving with the help of Tesla Autopilot, but his hands were still on the wheel and he was driving the speed limit of 100 kph (62 mph).
Just as everywhere else, Tesla tells drivers to always maintain control of the vehicle while on Autopilot as self-driving cars are not yet authorized for travel on Russian roads. However, also as everywhere else, there’s a hefty incentive to lie about your own attentiveness after your Tesla crashes into a parked car.
Tretyakov says neither he nor the car’s systems spotted the parked tow truck until it was too late. As per Reuters:
"Russia's RIA state news agency website posted a video showing the car driving in the left-hand lane of Moscow's ring road, known as the MKAD, before crashing into a tow truck parked by a safety fence that separates the carriageway from oncoming traffic.”
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Авария на МКАД и пожар Car exident and fire on ring road around Moscow (MKAD) 10 августа, 21:00, внутренняя сторона МКАД в районе поселка Мосрентген. Службы вызваны Говорят, Тесла загорелась... #авария #авариянамкад #пожар #пожарнамкад #горитмашина #горитмашинанамкад #мкад #мосрентген #fire #carexident #caronfire #mkad #moscow #moscowmkad #тесла #теслазагорелась #tesla #teslaonfire
We don’t have any footage of the crash, but we do have footage of the Model 3 exploding following the crash thanks to a passerby on the highway.
Alexi was driving with his two children, who both escaped the ordeal with bumps and bruises. Alexi, unfortunately, broke his leg and needed to be transported to hospital for treatment.
Although Teslas haven’t been statistically shown to be more explosion-prone than conventional cars, we gotta say that the conflagration of this particular Model 3 was truly impressive.