Submarine Mode?: ‘Full Self-Driving’ Software Guides Tesla into California Floodwater Pond

Tesla in California floodwaters
Wham Baam Teslacam/YouTube

A Tesla Model 3 owner learned the hard way not to trust his car to drive itself after his electric vehicle (EV) ended up in sunk in floodwaters outside of Mono City, California, while using Elon Musk’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) software.

Road & Track reports that the incident occurred when the Tesla’s driver, identified only as Ryan, was cruising down the highway just outside of Mono City at 60 mph with Full Self-Driving turned on. Despite encountering a sign indicating flooding on the road ahead, neither the car nor the owner reacted to the warning. Pools of water were clearly visible on either side of the roadway, and more water was apparent on the road ahead of the sign. However, no attempts at deceleration were made before the vehicle made contact with the floodwater pool.

Elon Musk watches SpaceX launch

Elon Musk (Joe Raedle /Getty)

The car initially seemed to handle the water well, creating a wake as it plowed forward. However, when the vehicle hit a patch of dry pavement, the change in road grip caused the Tesla to veer to the left side of the road with considerable force. The driver was unable to regain control of the vehicle before it slipped into a much deeper puddle on the shoulder. The Tesla ultimately came to rest in the large pond on the side of the road, with almost half of the car being enveloped.

Footage of the incident was captured by Wham Baam Teslacam on YouTube. In the video, the driver can be seen ignoring the road signs indicating the dangerous conditions ahead, opting to continue forward with Tesla’s FSD Beta activated.

Ryan later told Wham Baam Teslacam that he plans to sue Tesla following the incident. However, as a FSD Beta customer, Ryan had acknowledged the fact that he must be ready to take control of the vehicle at all times when the software is active. When the car didn’t recognize the warning sign on the roadway, the responsibility fell onto the driver.

Read more at Road & Track here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan


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