In the latest of numerous mishaps with self-driving cars, a Tesla Model S operating in “autonomous mode” reportedly struck an expensive humanoid robot from Promobot in Las Vegas ahead of this week’s launch of CES.
According to a report by The Daily Mail, The Tesla vehicle was occupied by a single passenger at the time of the accident but it was operating autonomously.
The passenger, George Caldera, was not injured, but Promobot’s chief business development officer Oleg Kivokurtsev said the robot—with an estimated value of around $25,000—suffered “serious damage.”
“Of course we are vexed. We brought this robot here from Philadelphia to participate at CES,” said Kivokurtsev, Promobot’s Development Director. “Now it neither cannot participate in the event or be recovered. We will conduct an internal investigation and find out why the robot went to the roadway.”
According to the report, the robots were making their way to the booth at around 7pm, when one of them strayed out of line and into the parking lot roadway where it was struck by a Tesla Model S.
The car continued driving for another 50 meters after the accident before finally coming to a stop. As luck would have it, Promobot’s handlers caught the whole thing on video. Viewer discretion is advised for robot lovers:
The driver stated in an interview with the Daily Mail, “There was nobody there, no men, no cars. I switched this Tesla into a self-driving mode and it started to move. And wow! A robot on the track! I am so sorry, the robot looks cute.”