A New Jersey driver crashed his Tesla X while driving on autopilot this past weekend, veering off the road suddenly and crashing "through signs and bushes," according to WABC 7.
The crash occurred in Middlesex County, along Route 1 in North Brunswick. NJ.com reports, "'The owner said the vehicle 'got confused due to the lane markings' in North Brunswick,' police said. 'The vehicle could have gone straight or taken the Adams Lane exit, but instead split the difference and went down the middle, taking the vehicle off the roadway and striking several objects at the roadside.'"
When the driver, Eric Carters, attempted to take control of the car, he says the car "would not let him."
Carter "says that he was able to slightly correct the turn and avoid hitting a road sign head-on," per News 12.
Tesla issued the following statement intended to reassure the public and cast doubt on Carter's account of the crash: "Safety is the top priority at Tesla, and we engineer and build our cars with this in mind. We also ask our customers to exercise safe behavior when using our vehicles, including following the car’s instructions for remaining alert and present when using Autopilot and to be prepared to take control at all times. A driver can easily override Autopilot by lightly touching the steering wheel or brakes. Moreover, the brakes have an independent bypass circuit that cuts power to the motor no matter what the Autopilot computer requests. And the steering wheel has enough leverage for a person to overpower the electric steering assist at all times. Since we launched Autopilot in 2015, we are not aware of a single instance in which Autopilot refused to disengage."
Jalopnik posted a video showing "why Tesla Autopilot crashes keep happening" last year. But there's really no cause for alarm—the machine knows where it's going: