A Tesla driver found out the hard way that Full Self-Driving Beta does not replace human attention and experience behind the wheel, even though the advanced driver assistance system's name might suggest otherwise.
According to the Wham Baam Teslacam YouTube channel, Ryan was driving his Tesla Model 3 on the highway outside Mono City, California, with FSD Beta active at 60 mph. As he cruised along, a "Flooded" yellow sign appeared on the side of the highway, signalling that the road ahead is partially or fully covered by water.
For some reason, FSD Beta did not heed the warning and kept on driving at 60 mph. More significantly, the driver chose to ignore the sign and delegate the responsibility to FSD Beta. Moments later, he would regret not intervening to take control of the vehicle.
He told Wham Baam Teslacam that the car did not decelerate appropriately when crossing the stream of water. The footage captured by the vehicle's factory-fit dashcam attests that, as we can see the Tesla driving on the flooded highway without reducing speed.
It doesn't take a genius to realise what happened next: the car aquaplaned and the rear wheels lost traction, sending the vehicle sliding toward the left side of the road and plunging into deepwater. Thankfully, there was no traffic at the exact moment the Tesla Model 3 crossed into the oncoming lane, or things could have had much more serious consequences.
As a result of the dive, more than half of the EV ended up submerged in the pond. Fortunately, Ryan wasn't injured, but the car may be declared a total loss. He plans to sue the city and Tesla if possible, but his chances to win don't look very good.
The city did what it had to do by putting up the sign, and Tesla has always said that owners must be ready to take over the vehicle at any moment while using Full Self-Driving Beta.
It appears that the Model 3 owner either relied on FSD Beta too much or was curious to see how the system would react to the flooded road; neither was a good idea.