Tesla Safety Prevented Murder-Suicide – Drove Off a 250 Foot Cliff

A Tesla Model was intentionally driven over a cliff for a 250-300 drop but all four people survived. There were two adults and two children in the car.

After investigating into Tuesday morning, speaking to witnesses and putting together evidence at the scene, the CHP (California Highway Patrol) said “investigators developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act.”

The driver was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and child abuse.

The CHP added that at this stage they do not think the Telsa’s self-drive feature was a factor in the crash.

“There has been no determination as to what driving mode the Tesla was in; however, that does not appear to be a contributing factor in this incident,” it said.

Patel is still at Stanford Hospital, however, he will be booked at San Mateo County Jail once he is discharged.

I used US, UK government and insurance data to show Tesla is already safer and why we should expect more safety from Autopilot and FSD. I also provided context about where and how accidents and deaths occur with cars.

Are Tesla cars safer and have they saved lives ? Spoiler Yes.

Has Tesla Autopilot saved lives? Again Yes. but I will provide data.

Is FSD beta safe? Yes,

Is Autopilot safe? How many lives would you expect to save by superior automatic lane keeping? 20-30% of traffic deaths.

Will Full FSD be safer? Yes, and safety score can help ensure it will be.

Can Safety Scoring, Insurance and FSD get more optimal usage of FSD? Yes.

All Tesla’s come with safety features expected to reduce accidents by 30-50% (NHTSA analysis of those features)

Youtube videos by FSD beta users show large improvement over last 13 months. No major accidents or deaths using FSD beta with 100k-285k users over 13 months.

Just keeping lanes, preventing rear ending and avoiding pedestrians is something that can prevent 60% (over 20k deaths in the US alone) of driving-related deaths. 800,000 deaths globally and 30 million injuries per year if global fleet was just preventing those three things.

Insurance and government statistics in US and UK show Tesla’s are among the safest cars involved in the fewest accidents. About 40% below average in US. Very Low accidents involvement in UK (10 times less than Toyota, Ford and several others of number per 10,000 cars).

Tesla is willing to charge 30-60% less for those with good Tesla Safety Scores. Can motivate 60% safer driving and lower accidents. Safety Scores with Real-Time Insurance pricing can motivate safer driving

Safety Scoring could be adjusted to ensure FSD monitoring behavior after FSD is fully released for general usage.

19 thoughts on “Tesla Safety Prevented Murder-Suicide – Drove Off a 250 Foot Cliff”

  1. If Tesla reduces traffic deaths and accidents by 60% in the USA, that’s 2-3% of GDP that’s saved annually. Stopping the bleeding of the economy is the same as growing it at the same rate. Meaning, suddenly the american economy has a growth of 2-3% extra. Good times.

  2. Goos good. Because, I can’t see how FSD could be at fault if its been determined that someone purposely drove off a cliff.

    Can’t stop won’t stop idiots.
    ! ^_^

  3. Good the passengers survived and the nutter could face justice or a long stay on the loony bin.

    Something worth recalling: there is no system 100% safe against lunatics.

    Wherever there are humans involved in controlling high energy systems capable of killing others, there is the risk of such disasters.

    • Also worth noting that the lowest energy system capable of killing others when in the hands of a motivated human is a rock laying on the ground.

      So completely avoiding the problem is going to be rather difficult.

  4. I can personally attest that the Tesla model Y is a life saving vehicle. I was recently in a horrible fwy accident where my car was hit and spun out going over 70mph. The EMTs said I should play the lottery because it was shocking I was able to walk away with only a broken hand and sprained ankle.

    • A Twitter employee put most of his savings in Tesla stocks. Then, with the money left,
      he bought a Tesla car. Then Musk acquired Twitter…

  5. WTF, Peter Zeihan lays out the resource and other factor case that EVs will not be major sources of transportation for at least a decade, probably 3 decades or more, that they aren’t green when factoring in true manufacturing and electric generation costs, and that Tesla specifically is STILL massively over-valued: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf85EuQKWeQ
    He also points out that capital itself is going away as Boomers retire and put their money into bonds instead of stocks, and there is no replacement in demographically challenged generations, like his, to come.
    I respect Zeihan a lot. He may be missing some things around the edges of innovation; e.g. Lithium-Sodium batteries, the expected rise in oil prices making EVs more attractive, but do these things move the needle significantly?

    • “…Peter Zeihan lays out the resource and other factor case that EVs will not be major sources of transportation for at least a decade, probably 3 decades or more…”

      Well they have to be made, don’t they? There are, supposedly, around 1.446 billion vehicles on Earth. It’s going to take a good while to make replacements. The speed of which will depend on electric car cost and oil cost. I didn’t watch his video but did look up his ideas on electric cars and found this link which said,

      “…In “moving on from oil” we would be walking away from a complex and often-violent and always critical supply and transport system, only to replace it with at least ten more. A world in which we “electrify everything” requires an order of magnitude more copper and lithium and nickel and cobalt and graphite and chromium and zinc and rare earths and silicon and more….”


      He’s wrong because he does not understand the technology nor does he understand the alternatives. We don’t need rare earth minerals. We can do without them all together. Electric motors are moving towards switched-reluctance motors.


      Teslas newest motor has way less rare earths and is more of a switched-reluctance motor. SRM can be made of high silicon iron and can use aluminum for conductors, so we don’t need copper in large quantities either. If the price or availability ever goes up on copper then everyone will just switch to aluminum like they use for power lines and we will never run out of iron, silicon or aluminum. We don’t need cobalt. Newer batteries use less or none. We don’t need graphite. We can make all we need if necessary.


      We can make graphene and other carbon based anodes and cathodes from carbon. It’s true that battery cost need to come down but it’s a forgone conclusion that they are. There’s been several different type batteries made for all sorts of stuff that are in great abundance. Robert Murray-Smith has made all sorts of batteries from carbon from many sources. With cheap batteries, electrical power then becomes cheap, as we can run the plants we already have at 100% capacity and store the power for charging when needed. And cheap batteries really kicks up the usefulness of solar and wind power by a huge margin. True, it will take time for this, but economic feasibility for this has been shown with Teslas battery storage bank in Australia. The whole thing paid for itself in three years. No doubt financial types paid close attention to that, and now we see more being planned. It’s cheaper to store power than to make new power plants.

      “…that they aren’t green when factoring in true manufacturing and electric generation costs…”

      I’m not going to go into why this is wrong because it would be a tome but one factor is electric cars can last longer using less resources.

      In fact there’s an even bigger resource shift away from the hydrocarbon Oligarchs coming up due to decreases in solar power cost. This guy says we are close to the cost needed to create hydrocarbons from CO2 in the air and hydrogen from water and has a company to pursue this. He has a great blog on all sorts of stuff solar and space related. I bet people who are interested in this site, which is fantastic, would also be interested in his site.


      • ‘…Teslas battery storage bank in Australia…. paid for itself in three years..’
        The Australian battery didn’t pay for itself with arbitration of power prices – buying low and selling high – but by providing frequency control and fast start services – which would not be needed in a grid mainly powered by systems with inertia, like coal, hydro, and nuclear. Once the power services niche is filled, there’s still an enormous gap between demand, and minimum wind and solar supply. Solar minima are obviously zero – though they don’t last as long in Australia as in most countries. Wind can be not much better, over large areas, for days. I’m currently looking at Mark Z Jacobson’s book ‘100% Clean, Renewable Energy and Storage for Everything’, but I’d give him more credence if the power sources he proposes for about 90% of the world’s power – wind and solar – had achieved anywhere near that figure, anywhere, even just for electricity, let alone the other ~80% of energy requirements. (Denmark claims over 50% of its power, but if you look at actual consumption, rather than production, over the year, it’s closer to a third.) https://app.electricitymaps.com/zone/DK-DK1?aggregated=false

        • To make my personal stance clear I’m in favor of ANY sort of power, coal, natural gas, especially nuclear fission and fusion, but I’m very fond of solar for national and personal independence. If solar panels get cheap enough, and it looks like they will, small fuel makers, oil or alcohol or other fuels could be used for long term storage. This would make me very happy.

          Robert Murray-Smith sold patents on graphene batteries made from carbon sources to the Edison Company. I wonder what they will do with them? Are they going to torpedo them and keep oil at a higher cost?

          I really don’t care much for big wind and their bird killing murder mills.

          • I don’t care for Big Wind for the fact that if we remove energy from wind systems to power our civilisation, it will necessarily change the climate (the wind will have less power to move rain inland, causing wetter littorals and drier interiors).

            Greenpeace and co. complain about water storage hydro flooding forests and releasing CO₂ as they rot. Why they aren’t going bananas over the environmental effect of wind farms, which is much bigger Watt for Watt, is completely baffling to me.

      • The South Australian grid battery is often explained in the low information media as used to power the state when other sources are off-line, but a simple comparison of the size (130 MWh) with the electricity needs of South Australia (1.3 GW) shows that it can only do so for about 6 minutes.
        In reality it serves to buffer and smooth out power fluctuations.

        I happened to watch Zeihan’s talk this morning, and it was clear that to him the advantage of EVs is solely in carbon dioxide reduction. No awareness of the other advantages driving both individual and government level adoptions.
        – Less pollution within cities where people live
        – Cutting off the need for oil, and the unstable parts of the world often supported by oil sales.
        – Replacing oil (expensive and volatile and often imported) with coal and gas (local, secure)

        He also said EVs were expensive. And gave the price of some. But no price for the competing ICVs they would be compared to. So I don’t know what he thought he proved there. I know personally some people who did the math for themselves and concluded a Tesla would pay for itself within a few years given their applicable electricity and petrol prices.

        Also, they are absolute MONSTER’s in a straight line. So that’s a net increase in public happiness.

      • There are two classes of reluctance motors: switched reluctance an synchronous reluctance. The Machine Design article that you reference only talks about switched reluctance. All the information presented in it is correct, AFAIK, but I wish it had covered synchronous reluctance motors as well and the tradeoffs between the two classes. Tesla motors are synchronous reluctance, not switched reluctance. They have equal numbers of rotor and stator poles, and as I understand it, are smoother and quieter than their switched reluctance cousins. They’re similar to induction motors with variable drive frequency, while switched reluctance motors are similar to stepper motors with variable stepping rates. What I don’t know is how the two compare in power to mass ratio.

  6. I’ve driven over that particular stretch of road. I was wondering how they’d happened to go off the road, I don’t recall a hairpin curve, or anything of the sort.

    • To be fair, it was deactivated by the driver. I suspect if it had to take action to keep the vehicle on the road the computer would have steered the car back onto the road. I could be wrong though…

      • The driver can always override autopilot/FSD. Braking or moving the steering wheel disengages autopilot/FSD.

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