A crashed Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle (EV) has burst into flames after a collision with a parked tow truck in Russia over the weekend.
According to reports, the driver, Alexey Tretyakov, was using Tesla’s ‘Autopilot’ semi-autonomous driving feature when the accident occurred.
While the Autopilot function requires driver’s to keep their hands on the wheel, and to be attentive at all times, the system is also designed to slow the vehicle down if it detects an object ahead.
It is unclear whether the Model 3 slowed itself before the collision, but Telsa’s Autopilot system has failed to detect obstacles before, most notably in a fatal accident in June 2016 when a Model S failed to differentiate a white-coloured truck trailer from the brightly lit sky.
Mr Tretyakov escaped the accident with a broken leg, while his two children also avoided serious injury.
Speaking to Russian media, Mr Tretyakov said: “I was going along Moscow ring road in the left lane with a speed of 100km/h and did not notice a parked Gazelle two truck.
“My Tesla Model 3 hit the tow truck with its left side and caught fire.
“It was not on full-scale automatic control – in Model 3 there is the function ‘driver’s assistant’ only, so I was holding the wheel.”