Tesla driver captures 'bumper car' motorway pile-up on camera

Forward-facing camera filmed the accident as it happened

THE FORWARD-FACING camera on a Tesla Model 3 captured the moment a car rammed into the back of another car, triggering a multi-motor pile-up on a motorway in Kansas, USA.

Vernon Jones was driving eastbound on Kellogg Avenue in his pure-electric Model 3 when the collisions occurred in front of him.

The footage shows a dark-coloured saloon tailgating a white coupé in the inside lane of the highway. As the two cars approach a line of static vehicles, the white car fails to stop and smashes into the queue.

As the car behind was following too closely, its driver appears not to have seen the events about to unfold in front of him and the unsighted saloon hits the rear of the white car with huge force.

In what the Tesla driver likened to a bumper car crash, the shunt sent the white coupé spinning and the saloon veering across the highway before striking a pick-up truck, which was attempting to avoid the carnage in the hard shoulder on the far side of the carriagway.

Impressively, the pick-up driver managed to keep control and continue driving down the busy road. Unlike the two other cars caught up in the accident, which both sustained extensive frontal damage, the larger vehicle also appeared to come out of the crash relatively unscathed in comparison.

Tesla cars are fitted with multiple cameras to allow their semi-autonomous systems to “see” what’s going on in the immediate environment helping the cars to navigate obstacles by controlling the accelerator, brakes and steering without input from the driver (although in the UK, drivers are still currently required to have their hands on the wheel and be in full control at all times).

Since version 9.0 of Tesla’s software was released in October last year, and sent “over-the-air” to customer vehicles, owners have also been able to use the front-facing camera to record and store video footage on a USB flash drive, effectively turning it into a dash cam.

The accident in Kansas was severe enough to force Wichita Police to temporarily close the stretch of road where the crash took place. According to the officers involved, it took roughly an hour to remove the stricken vehicles and re-open the busy road.

Credit: Vernon Jones via Storyful

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