A Reddit video is going viral as it seems to show a Tesla car hitting a private jet at relatively low speed but with enough force to push the plane around. The Vision Jet aircraft made by Cirrus Aircraft is the most expensive model, which sells for $1.7 – $2.2+ million. Ouch.
We’re not able to confirm the authenticity of the video, but Redditors say the Tesla was in “smart summon” mode. This self-driving beta feature supposedly gets the car to drive itself from where it is parked to the owner’s location.
If you visit the official page, there are many warnings, including “Smart Summon is a BETA feature. You must continually monitor the vehicle and its surroundings and stay prepared to take immediate action at any time”.
Interestingly enough, the car continues to drive even after the initial contact with the plane, which is somewhat unexpected.
It is a terrible idea to use a beta feature around multimillion-dollar planes. Frankly, I wouldn’t even do it in an empty supermarket parking lot at this point.
Now one has to wonder if an insurance claim would even be an option. The good news is that no one seems to have been hurt, and this didn’t happen during something like the refueling phase of the jet…
If the video is authentic, this would be a good reminder that true self-driving is nowhere near ready for primetime, and much work and testing needs to be done. The progress made in recent years is nothing short of astonishing, but we’re not quite there yet. Please stay safe.