Paris taxi firm BANS Tesla Model 3 cabs after a serious accident

Paris taxi firm BANS Tesla Model 3 cabs from its fleet after ‘technical flaw’ made one of the cars lose control on a busy street and injured 10

  • The accident occurred Dec 11 at 9pm local time in the middle of a large crossroads in the Tolbiac district, in the 13th arrondissement of Paris
  • An off-duty taxi driver was taking his family to a restaurant inside the Tesla taxi 
  • The driver lost control and hit a van, cyclist and several pedestrians 
  • Reports say 10 people were injured, but seven are seriously hurt
  • Officials say the accident was caused by a technical flaw in the Tesla 

Paris Taxi company G7 announced on Tuesday it is suspending its fleet of 37 Tesla Model 3 cars after one lost control due to a suspected technical malfunction and injured ten.

G7 Deputy Chief Executive Yann Ricordel told Reuters the taxi driver, who was off-duty at the time of the incident, was taking his family to a restaurant on Saturday in the Tesla when he lost control of the vehicle and smashed into a van.

The driver then violently collided with a cyclist on Rue D’Ivry, before continuing down the street and mowing two other pedestrians at the intersection of Rue Tolbiac.

French reports say 10 people were injured, with seven seriously hurt, but it is not yet know if any deaths occurred.

A 20-year-old female who witnessed the accident told Le Parisien: ‘I saw the collision between the two cars, it made a lot of noise and I thought I was going to die.

‘My reflex was to go into the restaurant and hide under the table in front of the counter.’

The mayor of the 13th arrondissement of Paris , Jérôme Coumet, is saying the accident was caused by a technical failure of the vehicle, while Tesla stands firm it was the driver who is to blame.

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Paris Taxi company G7 announced on Tuesday it is suspending its fleet of 37 Tesla Model 3 cars due to a serious accident involving one of the vehicles this past weekend

Rocordel notes the company is working with the government to conduct a full police investigation into the accident to determine if it was human error or due to a technical failure of the vehicle.

‘Today, we have two divergent views on the subject. We will maintain the suspension of the Tesla Model 3 while the investigation is ongoing, as a safety measure for our drivers, customers and other road users,’ Ricordel said.  

Tesla said the accident was not due to technical faults of the vehicle, but the driver says the opposite, according to Le Figaro.

The driver of the Tesla said the car, for no apparent reason, accelerated sharply while the brakes were no longer responding.


The taxi driver, who was off-duty at the time of the incident, was taking his family to a restaurant on Saturday in the Tesla when he lost control of the vehicle and smashed into a van

Jérôme Coumet, the mayor of the 13e arrondissement, said on Twitter the crash was caused by a ‘technical failure’

He also said that ‘the accelerator may have stuck.’

The accident happened at 9pm local time in the middle of a large crossroads in the Tolbiac district, in the 13th arrondissement of Paris.

Videos taken at the scene show a mangled back Tesla and a white van, which was also totaled, in the road that is littered with glass and other parts from the cars.

Videos taken at the scene show a mangled back Tesla and a white van, which was also totaled, in the road that is littered with glass and other parts from the cars. The taxi is said to have struck a glass container that was thrown into the air and a traffic light

The taxi is said to have struck a glass container that was thrown into the air and a traffic light. 

Pedestrians can also be seen in the middle of the road, with some laying down among the debris on the cold pavement, but people in the Tesla were not among those injured. 

A Tesla spokesperson told Le Parisien that the Elon Musk-led company remains at the disposal of the authorities’ to transmit to them the data which it can have remotely on the vehicle concerned, without giving further details.

Ricordel said the Tesla Model 3 owners in its fleet would be fully compensated for lost earnings during the suspension and that the company was looking for alternatives so the drivers could resume driving for G7 as soon as possible. 

In August, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA started investigating Tesla’s Autopilot. In May 2018, a Tesla sedan in Autopilot crashed into a parked police cruiser in Laguna Beach (pictured) 

How does Tesla’s Autopilot work? 

Autopilot uses cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radar to see and sense the environment around the car. 

The sensor and camera suite provides drivers with an awareness of their surroundings that a driver alone would not otherwise have. 

A powerful onboard computer processes these inputs in a matter of milliseconds to help what the company say makes driving ‘safer and less stressful.’

Autopilot is a hands-on driver assistance system that is intended to be used only with a fully attentive driver. 

It does not turn a Tesla into a self-driving car nor does it make a car autonomous.

Before enabling Autopilot, driver must agree to ‘keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times’ and to always ‘maintain control and responsibility for your car.’ 

Once engaged, if insufficient torque is applied, Autopilot will also deliver an escalating series of visual and audio warnings, reminding drivers to place their hands on the wheel. 

If drivers repeatedly ignore the warnings, they are locked out from using Autopilot during that trip.

Any of Autopilot’s features can be overridden at any time by steering or applying the brakes.

The Autopilot does not function well in poor visibility.

Tesla is one of the carmakers that seems to always make headlines – but for more bad than good.

In August, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced it is formally investigate the firm’s Autopilot over 11 accidents – one deadly – that are feared to have been caused because the system had trouble spotting parked emergency vehicles.

NHTSA said the investigation covers 765,000 vehicles, nearly everything Tesla has sold domestically since 2014. Of the 11 crashes that have been identified over the past three years, 17 people were injured and one was killed.

That deadly accident happened in Interstate 70 in Cloverdale, Indiana, in December 2019 and saw passenger Jenna Monet, 23, killed after the Tesla being driven by her husband Derrick slammed into the back of a parked firetruck.

The 11 crashes happened when the Tesla vehicles were on Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control, a feature that determines when there is a vehicle in front of the Tesla in the same lane, hit the emergency vehicles at scenes where first responders had used flashing lights, flares, an illuminated arrow board or cones warning of hazards. 

The NHTSA said the investigation covers the entire product lineup: the Models Y, X, S and 3 from the 2014 through 2021 model years. 

Since June 2016, the NHTSA has investigated 31 crashes related to partially automated driver assist systems. 

These systems are designed to keep a vehicle centered in its lane and a safe distance from vehicles in front of it. 

Of the 31 crashes, 25 involved Tesla Autopilot, resulting in 10 deaths, according to data released by the NHTSA.

In April, Musk tweeted Teslas with Autopilot engaged were ‘approaching 10 times lower chance of accident than average vehicle.’

Tesla and other manufacturers warn that drivers using the systems must be ready to intervene at all times. Teslas using the system have crashed into semis crossing in front of them, stopped emergency vehicles and a roadway barrier.

The crashes into emergency vehicles cited by NHTSA began on January 22, 2018 in Culver City, California, near Los Angeles.

A 2019 Tesla on Interstate 70 in Cloverdale, Indiana hit the back of a parked firetruck

That saw a Tesla using Autopilot hit a fire truck that was parked partially in the travel lanes with its lights flashing. Crews were handling another crash at the time.

Since then, the agency said there were crashes in Laguna Beach, California; Norwalk, Connecticut; Cloverdale, Indiana; West Bridgewater, Massachusetts; Cochise County, Arizona; Charlotte, North Carolina, Montgomery County, Texas; Lansing, Michigan; and Miami, Florida.

‘The investigation will assess the technologies and methods used to monitor, assist and enforce the driver’s engagement with the dynamic driving task during Autopilot operation,’ NHTSA said in its investigation documents.

HISTORY OF FIRST REPONDER CRASHES CAUSED BY TESLA AUTOPILOT

January 22, 2018 in Culver City: A Tesla Model S hit the back of a fire truck parked at an accident in Culver City around 8:30 am on Interstate 405 using the cars Autopilot system. The Tesla, which was going 65mph, suffered ‘significant damage’ and the firetruck was taken out of service for body work.

May 30, 2018 in Laguna Beach: Authorities said a Tesla sedan in Autopilot mode crashed into a parked police cruiser in Laguna Beach. Laguna Beach Police Sgt. Jim Cota says the officer was not in the cruiser during the crash. He said the Tesla driver suffered minor injuries.

The police SUV ended up with its two passenger-side wheels on a sidewalk.

December 7, 2019 in Norwalk, CT: A 2018 Tesla Model 3 on Interstate 95 in Norwalk, Connecticut using the Autopilot driver assistance system rear-ended a parked police car. 

December 29, 2019 in Cloverdale, IN: A 2019 Tesla on Interstate 70 in Cloverdale, Indiana hit the back of a parked firetruck. 

The Tesla driver, Derrick Monet, and his wife, Jenna Monet, both suffered serious injuries and were transported to the hospital for immediate medical care. Jenna ultimately succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead at Terre Haute Regional Hospital.

June 30, 2020 in West Bridgewater, MA: A Weston, Massachusetts man driving a Tesla hit a Massachusetts State Police cruiser that was stopped in the left lane of Route 24 in West Bridgewater. A trooper who was on the scene reported that the driver, Nicholas Ciarlone, faced a negligent driving charge and was arraigned in September 2020.

July 15, 2020 in Conchise County, AZ: A Tesla Model S hit an Arizona Department of Public Safety patrol car, resulting in the patrol car rear-ending an ambulance that was on the scene of an earlier car accident. No one was seriously injured, but the Tesla driver was taken to the hospital for injuries.

August 26, 2020 in Charlotte, NC: A Tesla driver watching a movie crashed into a Nash County Sherriff’s Office deputy vehicle in Charlotte, North Carolina on US 64 west.

The driver, Devainder Goli, of Raleigh, was accused of violating the move-over law and watching television while operating a vehicle. 

February 27, 2021 in Montgomery County, TX: The driver of a Tesla rear-ended a police cruise during a traffic stop in Montgomery County, Texas. Five deputy constables were injured during the accident, which happened around 1:15 am on Eastex Freeway near East River Road. 

The Tesla driver was not injured, but was taken into custody on a DWI charge. 

March 17, 2021 in Lansing, MI: A Tesla on autopilot crashed into a Michigan State Police car. Troopers from the Lansing Post had been investigating a crash involving a car and a deer on I-96 near Waverly Rd in Eaton County at around 1:12am.

While investigating the crash, a Tesla driving on autopilot struck the patrol car, which had its emergency lights on.

Neither the driver of the Tesla – a 22-year-old man from Lansing – nor the troopers were injured at the scene. Police issued the unidentified man a citation for failure to move over and driving while license suspended.  

May 15, 2021 in Arlington, WA: A Tesla driving in Arlington, Washington hit a police vehicle that resulted in ‘significant damage’ to the police car.

There were no injuries reported from the incident. 

May 19, 2021: Three people were hospitalized after a Tesla hit a parked Miami-Dade County Department Transportation Road Ranger truck that was blocking the left lane of I-95 to help clear the debris of an earlier crash.

The driver of the Tesla was transported to a nearby hospital with with severe, albeit non-life-threatening, injuries.

 

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