Automotive

Published on December 15th, 2021 | by Amirul Mukminin

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One Killed After Tesla Model 3 Driver Loses Control

It was not clear whether the car was operating in Autopilot when it happened

Paris’ largest taxi firm with 9,000 affiliated drivers, G7, has been forced to suspend all Tesla Model 3 units from its fleet following a fatal crash involving one of the electric fastbacks in the French capital on Saturday.

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According to a report by Reuters, the accident occurred when an off-duty taxi driver was taking his family to a restaurant. Multiple sources claimed that the accident killed one person and injured 20 others, with three people in serious conditions.

The Model 3 was believed to have hit a cyclist and three pedestrians before colliding with a van. There were suspicions of a malfunction such as a stuck accelerator based on the speed and trajectory of the vehicle as it careened down the street.

G7 Deputy Chief Executive Yann Ricordel said the driver had tried to brake but the car instead accelerated. It was not clear whether the car was operating in Autopilot when it happened.

Tesla has denied a technical dysfunction of the car after checking its data remotely. Tesla vehicles are equipped with sensors and cameras that gather data which the EV giant has been known to use to dispute claims that accidents were caused by malfunctioning technology.

Ricordel said as a safety measure for its drivers, customers and other road users, the company would suspend all 37 Tesla Model 3 units in its fleet until police investigation into the case is completed. Other Tesla models in G7’s fleet would remain in operation.

He added that the Model 3 owners would be fully compensated for lost earnings during the suspension and the company was looking for alternatives so the drivers could resume driving as soon as possible.

Tesla’s Autopilot system, which in essence allows the car to steer, accelerate and brake by itself, has been at the centre of controversy due to the number of accidents related to its usage. This is another case to add to the tally. While it seems like it was caused by malfunctioning software, let’s not rule out the possibility of human error.

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