Consumer Electronics Show or CES is the place you go to see the latest in the world of autonomous vehicles. However, at this year’s CES, the phenomenon called self driving vehicles has caused an accident. A self-driving Tesla has unfortunately mowed down and killed an AI robot at CES 2019. While kill is not the apt word for an accident involving a robot, the incident has taken a new precedence among those looking for tighter controls of such smart devices. The robot in question is a model v4 unveiled at CES by a Russian company named Promobot that specializes in design of autonomous robots.
The incident occurred when the robot was making its way to the CES show floor on Monday evening when a Tesla Model S struck the poor humanoid. The company took to Twitter to share the news of robot being hit by a self-driving Tesla, and mentioned Elon Musk, the CEO of electric car company. The tweet reveals that the car was under a full self-driving mode and Musk has repeatedly clarified that Teslas are still not designed for full autonomous driving and the incident seems to prove just that.
Watch: Watch Promobot robot hit by a self-driving Tesla
A spokesperson for the company confirmed that the damage is beyond repair. “Of course we are vexed. We brought this robot here from Philadelphia to participate at CES,” Oleg Kivokurtsev, Promobot’s Development Director said. “Now it neither cannot [sic.] participate in the event not [sic.] to be recovered. We will conduct an internal investigation and find out why the robot went to the roadway,” Kivokurtsev added.
While the company is claiming to have lost a robot to a self-driving Tesla, the video posted by the company looks suspicious and orchestrated. Also, the robot seems to have received only a gentle touch from the vehicle, which does not seem to be speeding in the video and has thus raised suspicion online. In the past, CES has been used as a platform to promote products, and it is not clear whether Promobot is using Tesla to promote its robot. In 2016, according to IFLScience, Promobot darted into nearby traffic in an attempt to escape its human creators. However, during that break, it was found broadcasting promotional messages through an onboard sound system and this robot hit and run could be just another engineered PR exercise.