The crash occurred on November 3rd in Brea, south of Los Angeles
The model Y was driving by itself when it merged into an occupied lane
The accident was reported by the owner to the NHTSA
When Tesla decided to release its Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta to thousands of drivers throughout the United States, many feared this was going to cause accidents.
The first one of these accidents could have occurred on November 3rd when a Tesla Model Y side-swiped another car while driving with FSD in Brea, a city southeast of Los Angeles.
The incident happened in a multi-lane intersection when the Tesla was performing a left turn. The car drifted into the wrong turning lane in the middle of the intersection and when the driver tried to take control after the car issued a warning, the self driving software apparently forced the vehicle in the wrong lane, where it was hit by another car.
No injuries occurred to either driver, but the Tesla apparently suffered serious damage to its driver’s side.
The owner of the Tesla reported the accident to the NHTSA, which is the American government agency that is responsible for vehicle safety.
The NHTSA had already launched an inquiry on Tesla due to multiple reports of its cars hitting parked emergency vehicles while under the control of the Autopilot system, the brand’s less capable, entry-level driver assistance system.
It is worth remembering that despite its name, Full Self-Driving is not an autonomous driving system and drivers are required to be fully attentive and to have their hands on the steering wheel at all times in order to take control immediately in case of an emergency.
This accident will not help Tesla in its case against the NHTSA, since the agency believes the company should not have released a Beta version of its software (meaning it is still in an early testing phase) because doing so puts every person that shares the road with a Tesla equipped with FSD at a risk, without their consent.