A Tesla driver hit and killed a dog. They claimed they were driving using Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta.
Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta is a driver-assist system that takes over all the tasks related to driving a vehicle, but Tesla requires that drivers keep their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention at all times.
Because of that, the driver remains responsible for the vehicle at all times.
Nonetheless, it leads to some interesting questions when crashes happen and whether they were avoidable.
A Tesla driver brings a sad example today when they hit a dog while they claimed they were using FSD Beta.
They shared videos of the accident on Twitter. Warning: At the risk of stating the obvious, you will see a dog getting hit by a car if you click this video below.
In the video, you can see that the dog runs straight into the road, but it can be easily seen running around on the side of the road several seconds ahead of the impact.
The driver claimed that the Tesla FSD Beta didn’t react to the dog:
The vehicle did not respond IN ANY WAY to the dog. The slight jerk in the video after the dog strike is when I grabbed the wheel trying to decide what to do.
The driver added that they saw the dog ahead of time, but they didn’t think it would cross the road:
In my opinion, hitting the dog was unavoidable. Can’t speak for the FSD computer, but I personally saw the dog and did not consider the possibility of the dog crossing the road; that is just not how country dogs normally behave. It is not reasonable to slow down for every dog.
After the accident, the driver said that he went back to check with the dog, and it was dead. He apologized to the family.
I really don’t like the comments of the driver about not considering the possibility of the dog crossing the road after seeing it. Personally, I think it is a good driving behavior to slow down if you see a dog without a leash on the side of the road – and I live in the country. There’s no excuse for that.
That said, I also understand that sometimes it is entirely inevitable. In this case, the dog clearly jumped in front of the car at the last second. The only way to avoid the accident here is if FSD Beta or the driver had significantly slowed down ahead of time.
On the FSD Beta side of things, I think Tesla should work to take those situations into account and potentially program it to slow down. As for FSD Beta drivers, I think it’s clear that you should not be confident in the system in those situations, and you should take over as soon as possible.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.