A driver said their Tesla car’s “full-self-driving” software braked unexpectedly on a highway, resulting in an eight-car accident on Thanksgiving morning, CNN reported.
The crash adds to the troubles of the company’s transphobic, right-leaning billionaire CEO Elon Musk. Musk has sold nearly $23 billion in his own Tesla shares since April when he began his chaotic takeover of the microblogging media platform Twitter.
Videos from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) showed the vehicle “changing lanes and slowing to a stop,” the news outlet said. The CHP couldn’t confirm whether the car’s “full self-driving” mode was active when the stop occurred.
“The crash occurred about lunchtime on Thanksgiving, snarling traffic on Interstate 80 east of the Bay Bridge as two lanes of traffic were closed for about 90 minutes as many people traveled to holiday events,” CNN wrote. “Nine people [were] treated for minor injuries including one juvenile who was hospitalized… Four ambulances were called to the scene.”
Before Thanksgiving, Musk announced that the beta version of “self-driving mode” would be available to all Tesla vehicle owners who had purchased the feature. The software, which has been added to over 100,000 cars in the United States, automatically accelerates, brakes, and steers on highways, Insider reported.
Tesla’s website says vehicles’ “Full Self-Driving Capability” is “intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any moment.”
However, the U.S. government has been investigating the software after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it received 758 reports from Tesla owners who said their software occasionally performs “phantom braking,” stopping unexpectedly, suddenly, and violently while in self-driving mode.
A Tesla vehicle owner named Marques Brownlee recently posted a 23-minute video demonstration of his car’s full self-driving mode. In the video, he called the software stressful. He turned off the software three times and said that he keeps his foot hovering above the brake to manually take over if the software acts oddly.
While Brownlee said he’s comfortable using the software on highways, other YouTubers have shared videos showing the software “failing to recognize pedestrians to attempting to turn into oncoming traffic,” the aforementioned publication noted.
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Unvaccinated People More Likely to Have Serious Driving Accidents, Study Finds
People who refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine have a 72 percent higher chance of getting into a traffic crash that requires hospitalization, a new study published in the American Journal of Medicine says.
The study looked at data of 11.2 million people taken from 178 medical centers in Ontario, Canada. Researchers found that 84 percent had received a COVID-19 vaccine as of July 31, 2021 while 16 percent hadn’t.
Researchers also found that, in a one-month period, 6,682 of all the individuals had received care for serious car crashes. Of those individuals, 75 percent had received COVID-19 vaccinations and 25 percent hadn’t.
This may sound like vaccinated individuals were more likely to get into car crashes. But because the 25 percent of unvaccinated crash victims came from a smaller pool of similarly unvaccinated individuals, researchers calculated that unvaxxed people were 72 percent more likely to be in a serious traffic accident when compared to vaxxed`individuals.
“We theorized that individual adults who tend to resist public health recommendations might also neglect basic road safety guidelines,” the study’s authors stated.
Other recently released research from the Commonwealth Fund showed that COVID-19 vaccines saved 3.2 million lives in the U.S. over a two-year period.
While some people who didn’t get vaccinated worried about potential side effects, chose other COVID-19 prevention methods, or stayed unvaccinated to protest vaccine mandates as a form of government overreach, others peddled misinformation about the deadliness of COVID-19 as well as the efficacy of vaccines, face masks, and lockdown orders.
Mike Pence Quietly Took a Huge Christmas Ski Vacation as Coronavirus Cases Soared – Costing Taxpayers Over $750,000
More details continue to emerge about the Trump-Pence administration.
The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) said new documents show then-VP Mike Pence showed “bad judgment” during the coronavirus pandemic.
“While coronavirus cases surged to record levels late last December, Vice President Mike Pence went on a ski vacation in Vail, Colorado. The trip came with a massive bill to taxpayers, with Secret Service protection alone costing $757,527.85, according to documents obtained by CREW. At the time of his holiday travel, Pence was the head of the White House coronavirus task force, which put out dire warnings after Thanksgiving as the CDC recommended that Americans stay home over the holidays in order to limit the spread of the virus. Clearly, Pence did not follow the government’s advice, and in the process put dozens of Secret Service agents at heightened risk of infection,” the group said on Thursday.
“Pence’s trip extended from December 23rd to January 1st, and reportedly included a Secret Service entourage of at least 48 agents, contributing to both the high cost and the risk of infection.The agents stayed at several different hotels in the Vail area and rented 77 cars for the trip. The charges included more than $270,000 at the Marriott Vail Mountain and more than $80,000 at the Ritz Carlton,” the group reported.
“This also is not the first time Mike Pence stuck taxpayers with huge bills for his travel. Back in 2019, he traveled to Ireland for government business in Dublin, but stayed overnight at Donald Trump’s resort on the other side of the country in Doonbeg. Travel costs for that were more than half a million dollars, and also resulted in the Secret Service spending more than $15,000 at Trump’s resort,” the group noted. “While Pence’s December trip to Vail was less nakedly corrupt than his trip to Doonbeg, it showed another kind of bad judgment, by putting many government workers tasked with keeping him safe at risk in the midst of a raging pandemic. We would hope that the head of the coronavirus task force would know better.”
NEW: Then-VP Mike Pence went on a ski trip in late December, when COVID rates were surging and the CDC recommended people stay home for the holidays. Documents obtained by @CREWcrew show the trip cost taxpayers more than $750,000 in Secret Service costs.https://t.co/pYm6bX3GCB
— Noah Bookbinder (@NoahBookbinder) April 22, 2021
Image: Official White House photo by Myles D. Cullen via Flickr
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