Autopilot was engaged during deadly Tesla crash in March

08 June, 2018, 07:19 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 in January 2017

At 7 seconds prior to the crash, the Tesla began a left steering movement while following a lead vehicle. Recovered data showed that Huang, an engineer for Apple, received alerts from the auto to place his hands on the steering wheel more than 15 minutes before the crash.

Huang was still belted into the driver's seat but bystanders rescued him from the vehicle before it was consumed by flames.

A Tesla SUV using the company's semi-autonomous Autopilot driving system accelerated just before crashing into a California freeway barrier, killing its driver, federal investigators have determined. According to the NTSB, not only did the Tesla Autopilot steer into the concrete divider, it actually sped up.

Autopilot can steer and brake itself under certain circumstances, but requires drivers to periodically touch the steering wheel to indicate that they are paying attention.

The preliminary NTSB report released today does not assign blame for the crash, and officials say it may take a year or longer to determine the probable cause. And last month, a Tesla Model S in autopilot mode hit a stopped fire department vehicle in Salt Lake City. The Model X sustained major damage, causing the front end to separate from the rest of the vehicle. The NTSB report confirms that, but does not speculate on how that affected the severity of the crash. One particularly unfortunate incident happened in March when a Model X crashed into a highway barrier, killing driver Walter Huang.

Investigators blame a mistake made by Tesla's Autopilot system for a mistake that killed Wei "Walter" Huang in a Tesla vehicle crash.

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The safety board is now investigating four Tesla crashes since past year and looking at post-crash fire issues and the use of Autopilot.

The Tesla Model X that crashed into a highway barrier speed up before the collision, according to a new report from the NTSB.

Shortly after the March 23 crash that killed Huang, Tesla released a statement that said "the only way for this accident to have occurred is if Mr. Huang was not paying attention to the road". The firetruck was unoccupied and no injuries were claimed by anyone at the crash scene, authorities said. Notably, the car's Autopilot feature was engaged at the time of the crash.

Previous to the impact, the Tesla was tracking the vehicle in front of it in the carpool at 65 miles-per-hour eight seconds before the crash.

"It is the driver's responsibility to drive safely and remain in control of the vehicle at all times", the manual says. Five days after the crash the battery reignited and firefighters put it out again.

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