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Mary Manley
Mary Manley
Mary Manley is a writer for Sputnik’s Washington, DC, bureau focusing on US politics, pop culture and other breaking news. Before moving to Washington, DC, Manley attended the University of Maine to study art and literary theory and criticism.

Watch: Surveillance Footage Shows How ‘Self-Driving’ Tesla Caused Devastating 8-Car Pile-Up

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who also heads Twitter among other companies, announced in November that “Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta” is now available to anyone in North America who requests it from the car screen.

Previously, the full self driving (FSD) software option was only available to drivers with high safety scores.

A video of an eight-car pile-up on the Bay Bridge on Thanksgiving of 2022 was shared to social media on Tuesday. The driver said his Tesla’s FSD software was to blame for suddenly stopping at a high speed. The Model S was allegedly in FSD mode when it engaged its left indicator and switched lanes before suddenly hitting its brakes and coming to a complete stop.

The exact cause of the horrific pile-up is still under investigation.

However, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has assigned a Special Crash Investigation team to look into how it occurred, they are currently occupied with dozens of other accidents caused by Advanced Driver Assistance Systems in Volvos, Cadillacs, Hyundai, Genesis and Cruise, and of course Tesla, which make up a majority of these incidents.

The FSD software for Tesla is sold as a $15,000 add-on by the company.

There have also been a number of complaints of “phantom braking” incidents from Tesla owners which have been going on for years. Two Tesla owners in North Carolina filed a class-action lawsuit against the company after their own cars experienced the “phantom braking” incident. The owners allege that while the malfunctions are “frightening” and “dangerous” it also decreases the value of their vehicles.

Tesla argues its FSD software still requires “active diver supervision,” and that its vehicles “are not autonomous” but drivers disagree, saying Tesla has exaggerated the features of its software.

“Elon Musk’s attitude towards road safety is reckless and extremely dangerous,” said Dan O’Dowd, founder of The Dawn Project, a tech safety group. “The Dawn Project’s tests have shown that Tesla Full Self-Driving will run down a child in a school crosswalk, swerve into the path of oncoming vehicles, speed in school zones with children present and run over a stroller.”

“Yet Elon Musk decided to make Tesla’s Full Self-Driving available to ‘anyone in North America’, despite knowing about hundreds of critical safety defects.”

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