No Autopilot or FSD During Recent Tesla Crash

Elon Musk has tweeted that there was no autopilot or FSD activated during the recent Tesla crash.

The best theory that is making the rounds now is that the two people who died in a Tesla crash had accelerated to high speed, did not have control in a turn, hit a tree, this started a fire. The crash and the fire prevented them from getting out.

SOURCES – Met Kevin, Elon Musk Twitter
Written By Brian Wang, (Brian owns shares of Tesla)

21 thoughts on “No Autopilot or FSD During Recent Tesla Crash”

  1. There are ~100 deadly trafic accidents per day in the western world.
    And still no news when a GM, Ford, Mercedes or Audi is involved

  2. I heard the fireman pored gasoline on the burning car. It burned for hours till they stopped poring more fuel to the fire. 🙂

  3. The reason is that currently available EV batteries contain a lithium salt, not lithium metal. The fire risk comes from the organic solvent used to transport the lithium ions. The ignition source for the solvent is hot spots and sparks caused by short circuits in the damaged battery so once the battery has discharged and cooled there is no more fire risk. Pouring water on then is not greatly different to pouring water on table salt.

  4. I don't know.. doesn't sound right, but I can't really argue with that. Maybe there are some other practical considerations that tilt the balance towards using water, or maybe it's not as bad as Wikipedia makes it sound.

    My guess is that it has to do with the amount of Lithium and amount of water. For a small amount of lithium, a dry powder extinguisher works well. For a large battery pack, maybe that's not as practical. I guess a large amount of water would cool off the reaction and hydrogen byproduct enough that it becomes manageable. And it would block off the oxygen, preventing reignition.

    The problem is, after the water drains away, you still have wet lithium and a bunch of water vapor, and oxygen isn't blocked off anymore, so the lithium can reignite. Once a sufficient passivation layer forms on top of the lithium, it should no longer be a problem, but lithium hydroxide is water soluble (and the oxides convert to hydroxide), so I'm not sure how that would work.

  5. The National Transportation Safety Board released a report in January – "Safety Risks to Emergency Responders from Lithium-Ion Battery Fires in Electric Vehicles" – which quotes from the National Fire Protection Association emergency field guide that "large, sustained volumes of water are required to extinguish a high-voltage battery fire". Apparently this is also the recommendation of most EV manufacturers in the US.

    The report also says that in Europe, Renault includes inlet ports in their battery cases so that water can be applied directly to the batteries allowing a battery fire to be extinguished in less than a minute.

  6. I don't bother locking cars when I'm in them because I live in a civilised country where car jackings don't occur.

  7. The cars have manual controls too. They can propel themselves perfectly happily in manual mode if you push down on the accelerator. And in manual mode the car ignores speed limits, that's the driver's job.

  8. Why would an autonomous car exceed the posted speed limit? How would the car propel itself if it wasn't in self driving mode? I think there is a problem or a hack.

  9. My Jeep has that feature. I don't even bother locking the doors when I'm in it, they lock themselves when I get going.

    OTOH, the locks are mechanical, and can be overridden by the manual controls, regardless of what the electricity is trying to do. All it is, is a pulse to a solenoid as the car passes 5mph.

    I'd never buy a car that didn't have manual door locks.

  10. If by "electric doors" you mean "it automatically self locks when you go over 5 kph and then is supposed to unlock when you try to open it again from the inside" then that particular (stupid to my mind) approach to design is not an electric car feature. Many good old dino-burners have the same "feature".

    I remember a story of a car that was was flooded with water as water rose over a bridge. The doors became locked and the owner ended up crawling into the boot, retrieving the jack, and using it to smash his way out of the sunroof. The company should have been sued over such a dangerous failure mode.

  11. You don't put liquid fuel fires out with water either. I suspect that fire fighters already know that vehicle fires need something a little more sophisticated.

  12. Agreed. Even topical journals/ websites leach upon the daily drama rather than toil over larger, detailed exposes — Scientific American, Space Science Reviews, Astonomy and Astrophysics…

  13. Ah Journalists and their 'investigative'/ rubber-neck journalism… the worst misery of society and its very-occasional means of keeping Others honest-ish. Glad most yellow journalism is ad-supported and therefore not long for this world…

  14. OK, just looked at the video. I think there is another possibility. Perhaps he was using "launch mode" but had his seat tilted back quite a bit. Could it accelerate enough that he slipped off his seat, and ended up in the back seat that way?
    Also, if the doors are electric, I think I would insist on them having their own redundant emergency battery/capacitor in the door. Also nice in the event that you discharge your battery completely.
    If I had a Tesla, I might even rig something up. You probably would want a fuse, so if there is some surge, it won't trash this back-up system. And a diode so energy is not bled from it, when the car is running out of power.

  15. If someone was trying to make a quick buck, and somehow distorted the story, it was probably a stock shorter.

  16. I am not saying it is Tesla's fault, but maybe they could have an automatic fire suppression system? The driver was probably conscious after the accident. He probably tried to open his door, and after failing, tried the passenger door…but no luck.
    Maybe the Germans and the car snobs are wrong. Maybe you don't want super tight panels. Doesn't take much compaction for a tight panel to bind with its neighbor. I think I'd rather be able to get out of the car.

  17. Heard it took them hours to put out the fire, supposedly with water, as it reignited over and over again.
    From Wikipedia:

    Lithium reacts with water easily, but with noticeably less vigor than other alkali metals. The reaction forms hydrogen gas and lithium hydroxide in aqueous solution. … Lithium will ignite and burn in oxygen when exposed to water or water vapors. … As with all alkali metals, lithium fires are difficult to extinguish, requiring dry powder fire extinguishers (Class D type).

    You do not put out a Lithium fire with water! This is a lesson the fire crews will have to learn as electric vehicles become more common.

  18. It is probably user error, that's why we have investigations.

    Now if it had hit a Fire truck or Police car at high speed then we would know with absolute certitude that FSD was engaged 😉

  19. I think someone's just looking to make a quick buck by suing.
    Remember a while back when Toyota vehicles supposedly had "sudden acceleration" even though they could never re-create the conditions?
    Ambulance chasers. Sue everyone. Elon has deep pockets, so lets sue him.

    Elon is crafting the future. Lawyers are not.
    Lawyers do two things. They move papers around and move money around. The nation doesn't mourn when a prominent lawyer dies.
    F. Lee Bailey – no tears.
    Johnny Cochrane – no tears.
    Even lawyers don't trust other lawyers.

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