Tesla DashCam came to the rescue of a Model 3 owner, who may have been targeted by an alleged scammer driving a white Audi sedan.
Based on the footage recorded by the electric vehicle's eight cameras, it seems that the driver of the white Audi was trying to manufacture a small accident with the Model 3 owner, @congcongcui1. The incident occurred while the two were driving on the Shenyang-Haikou Expressway in China.
Before seeing the footage, @congcongcui1 actually believed he had slightly nicked the Audi behind him. The Tesla Model 3 owner had been cruising on Autopilot when he heard a noise from the back. Then he felt Autopilot accelerate, making him think that there was something amiss.
The Tesla owner assumed he had hit something and stopped at the side of the road to check on his car. The white Audi’s driver followed suit and pulled over beside the Model 3, which only seemed to confirm the electric car owner’s assumptions.
The Tesla Model 3 owner apologized to the Audi driver, thinking that he had hit the other car. When he was told to get out of his vehicle, @congcongcui1 complied. The Audi driver pointed to a small scratch at the back of the blue Model 3, saying it was proof the electric car had hit the white sedan.
The Audi driver graciously suggested that the two drivers settle the situation amongst themselves and not involve the police. Then the white sedan owner asked for compensation for the damage to his car. However, the Tesla Model 3 owner was open to talking to the police. The Audi driver then decided to let it go and the two went their separate ways.
Credit: Vincent Yu/YouTube and @congcongcui1
A 360-Degree Perspective
Thanks to Tesla DashCam’s 360-degree view, everything was visible and revealed a different perspective on what had happened between the Model 3 owner and the Audi driver. At the beginning of the video, the Audi was actually in front of the Model 3. Later, it slowed down and let the Tesla pass it.
The situation turned a little weird when the white Audi began swerving closer to Model 3, even though the roads were pretty clear. Take note that if the Audi had hit the car from this angle, it would have left a mark on the Model 3, right where the driver said it did or close to it.
When @congcongcui1 watched the video a little closer, he could see the Audi’s rear window had been opened at one point, and it seemed like someone was throwing things at his car from it. The Tesla Model 3 owner believes that one of the items being thrown actually hit his car, and that was the sound he heard while driving.
Right after that scene, the Audi started swerving closer to the Model 3 again. The second attempt to collide with the Tesla vehicle triggered Autopilot, making the electric car accelerate away from the Audi.
The most damning evidence was caught while the Tesla driver was getting out of his car. On one side of the DashCam, the Model 3 owner can be seen making his way around the vehicle. On the other side, the Audi driver can be seen touching the Model 3, presumably leaving a scratch on it as evidence of the incident.
Credit: Vincent Yu/YouTube and @congcongcui1
Even with the DashCam footage, it is not entirely clear what had happened between the Audi driver and the Tesla Model 3 owner. After all, the Audi driver has not offered his perspective on the matter. The Tesla owner has opted to turn the footage over to authorities and let them investigate the incident further.
It should be noted that incidents such as the one described above do happen to drivers now and then. It is well-known in certain parts of the world that there are scammers who will try to manufacture a slight bump on the road to extract some sort of compensation from people. This appears to be the case here—if the DashCam footage is to be believed.
Tesla’s cameras weren’t initially used for the DashCam feature. It was meant for Autopilot to gather information and learn the behaviors of drivers. Many people criticized Elon Musk for Autopilot, saying that it wasn’t necessary. However, Musk’s intention with Autopilot was to reduce accidents on the road caused by human error. Basically, Autopilot was made to protect the drivers from themselves.
However, the DashCam feature and Autopilot seem to have outgrown their original purpose. Ironically, they have become features that protect drivers from other humans and their errors, as well.
About the Author
Longtime writer and news/book editor. Writing about Tesla allows me to contribute something good to the world, while doing something I love.