Tesla has found itself involved in yet another self-driving car accident – and this time, its victim was a $2,000-per-day rentable humanoid robot.
In what many are speculating was an over-the-top PR stunt, Promobot revealed one of its model v4 robots was ‘killed’ by a Tesla Model S on a Las Vegas street ahead of CES.
The accident occurred on Paradise Rd Sunday night as engineers transported the firm’s robots to the display booth.
According to Promobot, a number of robots were making their way to the booth around 7 p.m. when one of them stepped out of line and into the parking lot roadway.
As it did, it was struck by a Tesla Model S operating in autonomous mode.
The crash tipped the robot onto its side, causing ‘serious damage,’ Promobot says.
Now, with parts of its body, head, arm mechanisms, and movement platform destroyed, it cannot be put on display.
The firm says the damage is likely irreparable.
‘Of course, we are vexed,’ said Oleg Kivokurtsev, Promobot’s Development Director.
‘We brought this robot here from Philadelphia to participate at CES. Now it neither can participate in the event or be recovered.
‘We will conduct an internal investigation and find out why the robot went to the roadway.’
The bizarre news now has many people wondering whether the incident was a PR stunt, or simply an unfortunate coincidence.
The Tesla involved in the collision was operating autonomously, though a passenger was inside at the time.
And, it continued driving another 50 meters after the accident before finally stopping.
Nevada police showed up not long after.
‘There was nobody there, no men, no cars,’ said George Caldera, a Tesla passenger.
‘I switched this Tesla into a self-driving mode and it started to move. And wow! A robot on the track!
‘I thought the flivver would come round, but it bumped straightly into it! I am so sorry, the robot looks cute. And my sincere apologies to the engineers.’
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