Tesla vindicated as data shows Agrawal lied about Melbourne hit and run, car was NOT on Autopilot

    Today, Tesla has been vindicated in a multi-year legal battle in Victoria. In March 2022, Sakshi Agrawal claimed her Tesla was on Autopilot when she struck a nurse boarding a tram in Melbourne.

    After the accident she drove off and was later charged with dangerous driving causing serious injury, failure to stop at the scene of an accident and failure to render assistance.

    ABC has shared the results of the trial this evening that show the driver was responsible and Tesla’s Autopilot was not to blame.

    Crash analysis revealed Agrawal did not slow down before hitting Ms Lagos, who was struck at 58 kph and suffered life-threatening injuries after being thrown about 10 metres.

    Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Geraghty.

    “What she did was try to beat the tram”

    Defence barrister Nicholas Papas KC said of Agrawal’s actions.

    The court was told Agrawal sped from the scene in a panic but the 25-year-old eventually returned to the crash site. She told investigators it was dark on the morning of the crash, and she had switched on the car’s autopilot mode, relying on the vehicle to take care of braking.

    Agrawal told police Ms Lagos “jumped in front of the car”, meaning it was too late for the autopilot system to detect the pedestrian or for her to brake. Police analysis of the Tesla’s telemetry and steering inputs revealed inconsistencies with Agrawal’s story.

    Just 30 seconds before the crash, the autopilot feature was not switched on. Further, a “vulnerable road user” was detected and the car also triggered alerts for a potential collision.

    Police said there was no record the brake was applied and the data revealed she sped to 78 kph in the seconds after the crash. (reminder, that’s a 60km/hr zone).

    Defence barrister Nicholas Papas KC conceded his client (Sakshi Agrawal) had lied to police by making the false claim that the autopilot feature was activated.

    Let this serve as a lesson to anyone else attempting to lie, you picked the wrong car if you intend to do anything other than tell the truth. Tesla collects (and will provide to a court) a ridiculous level of data from the vehicle’s operations, which will reveal where humans chose not to remember events accurately.

    For two years, Tesla’s reputation and Autopilot capabilities were put into question as a result of these lies, when the human pilot not only was driving manually, but actively ignored warnings to respond to the changing environment in front of her vehicle and simultaneously accelerated into another human being.

    Agrawal will be sentenced in May and let’s hope she’s banned from driving indefinitely.

    Read the full article at ABC.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021


    1. Along with a LONG driving ban, she should spend significant time in jail!!
      But watch- she’ll get a slap on the wrist.

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