Elon Musk Shows Self-Driving Tesla Accelerating Into Oncoming Traffic to 10 Million Viewers

Musk’s demo of Tesla’s FSD lasted almost 20 minutes before he had to intervene to stop an accident.
Elon Musk Shows Self-Driving Tesla Accelerating Into Oncoming Traffic to 10 Million Viewers
Photo by Austin Ramsey / Unsplash

Elon Musk demoed an upcoming version of Tesla’s self-driving software to his millions of Twitter followers Friday night, and managed to go almost a full 20 minutes before he had to intervene and stop the car from accelerating into oncoming traffic.

The video, which was broadcast on Musk’s own social media platform, X, lasted 45 minutes and appears to be filmed by Musk himself as he sits in the driver’s seat. According to X’s own count, the video had 10.5 million viewers. At the 19 minute and 50 second mark, the car was waiting at a red light for an intersection with two traffic lights: one for the left turn lane, and one for cars going straight or turning right.

Musk’s Tesla is in the lane to go straight. Turning cars got a green turn arrow, and Musk’s car, in “Full Self-Driving” (FSD) mode, begins to lurch forward, driving directly at turning cars.

“Oh, intervention,” Musk blurts out as the Tesla lurches towards cars from oncoming traffic turning in front of him. You can hear him slam the brakes. He laughs. “This is our first intervention because the car should be going straight.” His passenger mumbles something about traffic lights. “That’s why we’ve not released this to the public yet. That’s the first intervention for the whole drive.”

Which, fair enough! This version of FSD is not released to the public, but versions that are available to the public have had plenty of issues. It’s also impressive that a car can drive itself without issue, most of the time, until it drives directly into oncoming traffic.

It’s very impressive until it’s potentially terrifying, which is where self-driving as a concept largely is at the moment. We’ve spent years hearing about self-driving and seen companies like Uber bet their future on it, then retreat. Recently, there appeared to be a lot more progress as self-driving Cruise cars have been deployed in more cities. But are they working as well as they need to? Story after story after story suggests they aren’t, and now regulators are having second thoughts about letting these things free on the roads.

The self-driving future may well be here soon, but at the moment FSD is TBD.