A woman and here young son were travelling in a Tesla Model S, when a landslide pushed the across the road and to the bring of a cliff. Then a huge tree fell on them. The Tesla was heavily damaged. The cover for the front trunk and the rear hatchback were destroyed. The rear window shattered but the windshield remained intact. Both front fenders were damaged by the falling tree. Inside, the passenger compartment survived with only minor damage and the woman and her son escaped without injury, according to Green Car Reports.
Tesla has always prided itself on the safety of its cars, all of which have a 5 Star crash rating from IIHS. The new Model X SUV comes with a high tech cabin filtration system that contains a Bioweapon Defense Mode, said to be effective at blocking bacteria and viruses as well as the systems used by major hospitals to protect patients from infection.
Tesla is also pioneering new autonomous driving software intended to take some of the tedium out of highway driving and prevent road mishaps caused by driver inattention. While it is meant only as an aid to driving, the internet is now filled with Tesla owners showing off their dog behind the wheel or deliberately wrenching the wheel one way or another in an effort to make the system crash the car. Tesla may be performing a useful social purpose by designing systems that will lower the injuries and fatalities from traffic accidents, but even it cannot guard against outright stupidity.
Now, dozens of Tesla owners are intent on breaking the record for driving coast to coast in the least amount of time without touching the accelerator, brake pedal or steering wheel. Why anyone would want to spend more than 54 hours watching a car steer itself is a subject that only trained psychologists could comprehend.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, the photos of the Model S trapped in the landslide should do more for Tesla’s reputation than any number of industry sponsored crash test reports. The company couldn’t buy this type of favorable press.
Photo credits: Gronvold’s, Norway