Tesla's Autopilot Engaged in Fatal Florida Crash, Finds NTSB

Tesla's Autopilot Engaged in Fatal Florida Crash, Finds NTSB

Tesla's Autopilot Engaged in Fatal Florida Crash, Finds NTSB

Fox News Flash top headlines for May 17 are here.

In a preliminary report issued on Thursday, the US National Transportation Safety Board on said that a Tesla 3 crash on March 1 in Delray Beach, Florida, occurred while the vehicle's Autopilot system was active.

In May 2016, a Tesla Model S driver was killed near Williston, Florida, while Autopilot was engaged, when he slammed into a tractor trailer that also sheared off the vehicle roof.

Federal authorities have released the results of an investigation into a crash involving a Tesla Model 3 and a semi truck that cost the Tesla driver his life earlier this year. The system also can keep a auto in its lane, change lanes and navigate freeway interchanges.

Tesla has maintained that the Autopilot system is designed only to assist drivers, not take over driving duties completely. The company said it informed NTSB and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the Autopilot activation after reviewing the car's computerized data log.

"From less than eight seconds before the crash to the time of impact, the vehicle did not detect the driver's hands on the steering wheel", the NTSB said of the Tesla, adding that there was no evidence that Autopilot "executed evasive measures".

Neither the data nor the videos indicated the driver or the Autopilot system braked or tried to avoid the trailer, the report stated.

"Preliminary vehicle data show that the Tesla was traveling about 68 miles per hour when it struck the semitrailer", the report said. The NTSB gathered that during the accident, neither the Model 3's ADAS nor the driver, attempted to alter course before the fatal accident.

Tesla said it was the only time during the journey that Autopilot had been activated.

NTSB investigators are also probing how the electric Tesla's batteries behave after accidents following several fires.

The NTSB, an independent government agency that investigates accidents, and the NHTSA, a part of the Department of Transportation that regulates vehicles and has the power to demand a recall, are both looking into the Delray Beach crash. Joshua Brown, 40, of Canton, Ohio, was traveling in a Tesla Model S on a divided highway and using the Autopilot system when he was killed.

Video footage showed that the truck was crossing the highway and had slowed as it crossed the southbound lanes of State Highway 441 in Palm Beach County, blocking the Tesla's path. The crash sheared off the roof as the Tesla traveled under the semitrailer.

The report did not conclude who was at fault for the crash.

He says this year's crash that killed Banner reinforces that Autopilot is being allowed to operate in situations it can not handle safely.

'Their system can not literally see the broad side of an 18-wheeler on the highway, ' Friedman said.

It also said the way Autopilot monitored and responded to driver interaction with the wheel "was not an effective method of ensuring driver engagement". Note that this is not enough information to say the driver definitely took his hands off the wheel; it only means the auto did not detect any torque from the driver's hands.

"Tesla has for too always been using human drivers as guinea pigs". "This is tragically what happens". "That kind of stands out", Friedman said. Musk said last month that Tesla had developed a powerful computer that could use artificial intelligence to safely navigate the roads with the same camera and radar sensors that are now on Tesla cars. "They're literally showing how not to do it by rushing technology out".

We should point out that this information from the NTSB is only preliminary at this point in time.

On that occasion Tesla did not reveal whether Autopilot had spotted the barrier.

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