The claim by the driver of a Tesla Model 3 that Autopilot is to blame for him mowing down 11 plastic construction barrels has merit to it and might prove useful to Tesla Inc. in future software updates.

This head-scratching incident was caught by the Model 3’s dash-cam and posted on YouTube.

It shows the Model 3 driver, who identified himself as “Richard FS,” on the center lane of a four-lane highway in North Carolina when he drove into a bunch of construction barrels parked in a diagonal line — from the left lane to the center lane.

The Model 3 knocked down the barrels in about five-seconds. Richard FS then stops the Model 3 on the left lane.

The driver blamed Tesla’s Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), an active safety feature commanded by Autopilot, for the intriguing accident:

“Tesla Model 3 with FSD option. Automatic Emergency Braking totally failed me on the one time I needed it most,” he wrote. “With all the phantom braking events I have experienced in the 2-1/2 months I’ve owned it, it does seem like it would panic when it saw this coming.”

Those in the know say Richard FS was in error for placing complete faith in the AEB feature. After all, AEB is there to prevent or reduce the impact of some accidents, but it can’t prevent all accidents.

One Model 3 driver said he had issues before with construction zones so he would turn-off AEB when he got to one of these zones. Better safe than sorry, as the saying goes.

Lessons from this incident, which occurred so fast Richard FS didn’t have time to react in time, might help Tesla further improve Autopilot and AEB

Tesla Model 3 The Tesla Model 3 on display in Los Angeles, California, at Automobility LA, Nov. 29, 2018. Photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images