Tesla Model 3 involved in a terrible crash never had Full Self-Driving installed on it — confirms Elon Musk

It's a case of drunk driving!

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Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk took to his social media platform X (Twitter) to clear the fog off the matter arising from a Washington Post article published yesterday.

The article pivots around the possibility that Full Self-Driving (FSD Beta) was activated when a Tesla employee’s Model 3 car met a fatal crash in 2022.

At the time of this crash, the vehicle had two occupants, a Tesla employee named Hans von Ohain and his friend Erik Rossiter. Sadly, Ohain was killed in this accident and Rossiter survived.

Elon Musk (left) and Tesla FSD Beta driving visualizations (right).
Elon Musk (left) and Tesla FSD Beta driving visualizations (right). Credit: Steve Jurvetson / Gail Alfar.

Investigators found that Ohain was heavily intoxicated while driving. Hans von Ohain’s blood was found to have an alcohol level of 0.26 — 3 times above the legal limit.

Ohain’s Tesla Model 3 hit a tree on his way home. The car was on fire when Ohain’s friend Rossiter gained consciousness after the crash.

The Washington Post article and one by Fred Lambert of Electrek are trying to blame Tesla, Inc. partially by somehow proving that Tesla’s Full Self-Driving feature was activated on the car during the crash.

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However, Elon Musk has debunked all of the assumptions that the car was somehow using the FSD Beta self-driving feature while it met a regrettable fate. In an X (Twitter) post, Musk said that FSD Beta had “never been downloaded” on Hans von Ohain’s Tesla Model 3.

“He was not on FSD. The software had unfortunately never been downloaded,” Musk posted on X. “I say “unfortunately”, because the accident probably would not have happened if FSD had been engaged,” he further explained.

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Looks like the authors of The Washington Post article and the crash survivor Erik Rossiter don’t have a good understanding of how the Tesla Autopilot and Full Self-Driving work.

There is a basic Autopilot feature which can be described as an advanced Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (TACC). Then there is FSD Beta, which is an advanced self-driving feature and is currently working on around 400,000 Tesla cars across North America.

As the name suggests, the Full Self-Driving is still a ‘Beta’ software release. Tesla’s documentation and every FSD Beta software version release notes clearly mention that the driver should always keep his/her hands on the steering wheel and be prepared to take control of the vehicle at any time.

Tesla is rolling out FSD Beta 10.69.1. Full Self-Driving (Beta) Suspension warning.
The Tesla FSD Beta installation screen shows explicit safety information and asks the user to always keep their hands on the steering wheel and be responsible for the proper use of the self-driving feature. Credit: Dan Burkland / Twitter.
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Map of Bear Creek Road, CO shows how curvy this path is, it's as difficult as a complex race track like the Laguna Seca with multiple corkscrew turns.
Map of Bear Creek Road, CO shows how curvy this path is, it’s as difficult as a complex race track like the Laguna Seca with multiple corkscrew turns Credit: Google Maps / Google.

What von Ohain was using might be the basic Autopilot intended for use on Highway. The crash happened on Upper Bear Creek Road, Colorado which is a hilly and curved path.

The original Washington Post article mentions multiple times that Tesla Autopilot was not working well on this road. The vehicle had already swerved multiple times and von Ohain had to intervene. This behavior of the vehicle should have been enough to caution him to not use Autopilot for the rest of the trip. But von Ohain insisted because he wanted the car to cover up his drunk driving behavior and carelessness while it should have been the opposite.

The record of all the Tesla vehicles having Autopilot/FSD is kept on the automaker’s supercomputers at its Engineering HQ in Palo Alto, California. Therefore, it’s easy for Tesla to track if a specific vehicle has Full Self-Driving installed on it or not. Even if it is installed, Tesla can precisely track if it was activated or de-activated at the time of an incident.

This is why Elon Musk was able to confirm that Hans von Ohain’s Tesla Model 3 never had Full Self-Driving installed on it. He might be using basic Autopilot which is way inferior to FSD Beta, and the responsibility lies with the human driver.

According to the widow of Hans von Ohain, no lawyer is taking up her husband’s case because he was involved in intoxicated driving. This is enough to deflate the air mainstream media is trying to put in the anti-Tesla propaganda, especially in terms of Full Self-Driving.

Update: Tesla’s Vice President, Public Policy and Business Development Rohan Patel posted 2 tweets in the context of the Washington Post article and related FUD to clarify his company’s position in this case.

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Iqtidar Ali
Iqtidar Alihttp://www.teslaoracle.com
Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on XAutoWorld.com, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii

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