A Rough Start: Rivian Says R1T Crash Caused by Driver Error

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New electric car brands have been popping up with big promises and high hopes. Brands like Lucid, Tesla, and Rivian have been introducing high-quality, high-priced electric vehicles, and consumers have been lining up to pre-order them.
However, Rivian might be off to a rough start. According to The Drive, one of Rivian’s new R1T pickup trucks got into a surprising accident that could make potential buyers hesitate to make the purchase.
Camo pickup truck driving on a dirt road
Rivian recently tested its R1T pickup and had some less-than-stellar results.

The hype around the Rivian R1T and R1S

Many consumers have been keeping up with news about Rivian’s R1T and R1S vehicles. The models aren’t yet available to the public, and their delivery dates have been delayed.
The brand has been working to get these cars released for over 10 years, working through shortages and technical difficulties to make the R1T and R1S. A few have been produced as test vehicles, but it wasn’t until this month that their first production vehicle came out of their manufacturing plant.
The R1T is one of the first electric pickups to be manufactured and has drawn a following of outdoor explorers as well as car fans. The pickup is marketed as an outdoor adventure vehicle, and some reviewers think it’s lived up to that title. It’s great for off-road driving and has a long list of features that come in handy for trekking through nature.

What happened in the R1T crash?

The ill-timed crash happened on September 22 when a prototype R1T pickup failed to complete a right-hand turn and instead drifted across traffic into a parking lot. The truck hit one vehicle and bumped it into another, causing a significant amount of damage to both.
The driver, a Rivian employee, was not hurt and both of the other cars were unoccupied. Rivian is claiming that the driver, not the car, was at fault.
It’s unclear whether the crash was completely due to driver error or whether there were other issues. Though it is unconfirmed, some of the evidence points to accidental acceleration. It looks like the truck wasn’t slowing down when it hit the grass embankment in front of the lot.

How will this impact Rivian?

There’s some speculation around how well the R1T safety features help prevent crashes. Technology like forward collision warning and lane departure warning should have stepped in at some point if the driver was drifting. However, if the driver meant to slow down and hit the acceleration instead, that might have overridden the assistance.
Consumers are already somewhat skeptical of electric cars and their capabilities. Though there’s no proof that the driver-assist features failed to help, this crash could still make people doubt the integrity of the safety systems.
Brands like Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid will have to continue improving their technology if drivers are going to trust them while driving.
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