While most cars on the road today offer some sort of advanced driver assistance system to help them manage some aspects of driving, in 2016 the technology was relatively new. That’s why Tesla’s video was created, showing a Model X driving itself so remarkably. The video showed a Model X driving into Palo Alto from a home in Menlo Park, California, with no input from a driver (the video is at the bottom of this article in case you haven’t seen it in a while). Video was used to quickly promote Tesla and Tesla CEO Musk’s self-driving technology went to twitter to claim the video is proof that a “Tesla drives itself.”
Well, it turns out the video was fake. Who would have thought? According to a new report by Reuters, the video that clearly shows a Model X driving alone is actually a video of a Model X driving alone, using technology Tesla didn’t offer in its production vehicles. The news comes from a transcript of a July filing obtained by the outlet, which was originally used as evidence in a lawsuit against Tesla over a fatal accident in 2018 involving a former Apple engineer.
The statement comes from Ashok Elluswamy, director of autopilot software at Tesla. “The intent of the video was not to accurately represent what was available to customers in 2016. It was meant to represent what could be built into the system,” Elluswamy said in his statement.
To create the video, Tesla reportedly used 3D mapping along a predetermined route. Elluswamy alleges that drivers behind the wheel of the Model X had to intervene to take control of the car, and when Tesla tried to show how well the vehicle could park itself, the Model X inside Tesla crashed into a fence Parking spot. When asked if the video showed capabilities like stopping at a red light and accelerating at a green light that Tesla offered for vehicles customers could buy in 2016, Elluswamy said, “It doesn’t.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard the video is staged, but this is the first time an existing Tesla employee has come forward to definitively state that the video is fake. In 2021, Tue New York Times conducted an investigation speaking to several former Tesla employees who said the video was fake.
Tesla is under fire for its Autopilot driver assistance system. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has allegedly Investigation of around 41 accidents involving a Tesla and its advanced driver assistance systems. The U.S. Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation into Tesla’s claims that one of its electric vehicles will be able to drive itself using Tesla’s Autopilot system in 2021, following a series of fatal crashes. Expectations Reuters. Someone created a website called Tesla Fatalities, which records all fatal accidents that have occurred in a Tesla. To date, the website claims there have been 348 fatalities involving a Tesla.
Musk promised that Tesla would offer a fully self-driving vehicle by the end of 2017. It’s now 2023 and Tesla still doesn’t have one fully autonomous vehicle up for sale — no automaker does, regardless of what they claim — despite selling a package called “Full Self-Driving Capability.”