Newly released surveillance footage is shedding more light on an accident in which a Tesla allegedly with Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta engaged triggered an 8-car pileup in San Francisco last month. While the footage does seem to confirm some aspects of the driver’s story, it also raises more questions.
The accident took place on December 22 on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge. According to a police report the driver of the Tesla Model S said FSD Beta suddenly changed lanes and slammed on the brakes, resulting in an 8-car pileup that injured several people.
Today two videos published by The Intercept, obtained through a public records requests, show the white Tesla activating its left signal, changing lanes, and then hitting the brakes, coming to a complete stop where it then sits stationary in the lane. A trailing vehicle is unable to stop in time and hits the back of the Tesla, triggering several more collisions from other cars there were also unable to stop in time.
At a first glance the video seems to backup the driver’s story, but it also raises some questions as there are a number of inconsistencies that will hopefully be fleshed out through the investigation.
One of those is the claim by the driver that car suddenly slammed on the brakes, insinuating it was a ‘phantom braking’ event. However the video appears to show a more gradual slow down. There is also the fact that the Tesla comes to a complete stop in the lane, suggesting the driver was not paying attention as they could have easily intervened and continued driving had they simply pressed the accelerator.
Then of course there is the fact that the Tesla was travelling along a five lane highway, a type of road where FSD Beta cannot be engaged and where only Tesla’s Autopilot can be activated.
Let us know your thoughts on this footage in the comments below.
You can read the full police report here.