Tesla Autopilot disabled by giant moth in Nevada desert
Mothra wanted for questioning.
"There I was, cruising along on [Autopilot] doing 85 miles per hour on a lonely stretch of 93 between Kingman and Las Vegas," said Redebo.
"Suddenly, my driver console flashes red and commands me to take control of the vehicle. AP drops off. Cruise control drops off and I get the ominous warning, 'Radar visibility has been reduced.' I see a lone gas station up the road and slow my roll into the fluorescent lighting of the canopy covering the gas pumps. I step out of the car while a car of German exchange students look quizzically at a [Model S] parked next to a pump. Fearing the worst, I peek around the front of the car and was confronted with this sight. The Demon Spawn of Mothra had attacked me and rendered my autonomy useless. Never fear though, a quick scrape with the window squeegee over the radar opening and my technology was restored!"
Tech Insider reached out to Tesla to inquire about the autopilot's apparent susceptibility to giant moth attacks. Tesla assured TI that it's very rare that an insect the size of Redebo's moth would cover the entire of the forward radar sensor. In addition, the newly-redesigned Model S lacks the false front grill, and the forward radar sensor is hidden behind the car's fascia, protecting it from damage by bugs and road debris. This isn't the first time a Tesla owner has experienced the limits of the Autopilot feature. A week after the software was uploaded, a man was nearly in a head on crash because he trusted in his Tesla's self-driving ability a little too much.
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