Tesla just can't seem to catch a break these days. We're now hearing of another Tesla crash being blamed on Autopilot—the third to be reported in two weeks. In this latest incident, which occurred Saturday night in Montana, a driver of a Model X claims that he was driving with Autopilot engaged at 50-60 mph, when the car veered off the road into a wooden guard rail, destroying the right side of the vehicle.
According to , the driver, on the Tesla Motors Club forum, claims he was using Autopilot on a road without a center divider when the incident occurred. .
Since the system was not designed for roads without adequate lane markers, it's possible that the Autopilot system may have disengaged on the fly due to lack of visual data. It's also possible that the driver was not paying attention when the car disengaged Autopilot, and was not able to react fast enough to avoid the crash.
This wreck comes soon after publication of the death of Joshua Brown, who was killed when his Tesla Model S crashed while on Autopilot in May. According to investigators and Tesla, the car failed to identify a truck turning left across Brown's lane. Soon after that, another Model X crash involving a rollover occurred in Pennsylvania. No injuries were reported in the Model X incident, though the driver claims Autopilot was in use at the time of the crash. The NHTSA is currently investigating both accidents.
Tesla has yet to issue a statement on this particular wreck, but since the company gathers data on the operations of its cars, it's possible Tesla already knows whether Autopilot was engaged at the time of the crash. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, that Autopilot is in its "beta" stage, saying that Tesla will need to record 1 billion miles of Autopilot testing data before the system can be finalized.