Tesla techs confirm driver had engaged autopilot in crash

Marco Green
May 17, 2018

At the time, she told the police that the vehicle was on Autopilot and later admitted that she was on her phone.

The woman suffered a broken foot and some abrasions from the air bag deployment but, according to police, escaped relatively unscathed from the crash that demolished the front end of the Tesla.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has sent an investigations team to Utah to probe the May 11 wreck, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

A Tesla driver was issued a traffic citation Wednesday after she was involved in a crash and the car's "autopilot" feature was engaged.

The Utah driver repeatedly kept her hands off the wheel of her Model S, including for a span of 80 seconds up until the moment of violent impact, the report said. To wit, Musk just this week took to Twitter and said: "It's super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the ~40,000 people who died in USA auto accidents alone in past year get nearly no coverage".

The police said the Tesla Model S during that day's trip registered more than a dozen instances of the driver's hands being off the steering wheel.

Police said the driver not only failed to abide by the guidelines of Autopilot use but also engaged the system on a street with no center median and with stop lights.

Sharing details about how Tesla Model 3 has earned the "superior" rating for the front crash prevention tests, IIHS has revealed that the vehicle passed the 12 miles per hour and 25 miles per hour front crash prevention tests by successfully avoiding a crash at both the speed levels. This is the speed the driver selected.

Tesla said drivers are repeatedly advised Autopilot features do not make Tesla vehicles "autonomous" and that the driver absolutely must remain vigilant with their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and they must be prepared to take any and all action necessary to avoid hazards on the road. The driver finally touched the brake pedal "a second prior to the crash".

The US National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident, which led to the death of a 38-year-old father of two, Walter Huang.

Last week, the NTSB began investigating an accident involving a Model S that killed two teenagers in Florida after it crashed into a wall. The vehicle was in Autopilot mode when it slammed into a concrete barrier that divided a busy Silicon Valley highway.

The agency said the fire, which may have been exacerbated by the vehicle's battery, is the focus of the investigation, not the vehicle's semiautonomous system.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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