Tesla 'autopilot' increased car's speed before fatal crash, says report

Tesla 'autopilot' increased car's speed before fatal crash, says report

Tesla 'autopilot' increased car's speed before fatal crash, says report

"The Tesla was no longer following a lead vehicle four seconds before the crash", the report notes.

While Tesla tells drivers they must keep their hands on the steering wheel and monitor the semi-autonomous system, the vehicle can steer and control speed in some situations. He was transported to a hospital but died from his injuries later that day.

The report said that the Tesla did not try to brake or steer away from the highway barrier. The NTSB said the crash remains under investigation and that it could make changes to its preliminary report as it does more research on the matter.

"Tesla Autopilot does not prevent all accidents - such a standard would be impossible - but it makes them much less likely to occur", Tesla wrote in a March blog post. However, the company said in a statement last March that the driver had failed to take evasive action and that existing damage to the safety barrier played a role in the fatal outcome. The NTSB says it now will examine the cause of the crash.

The report noted that at four seconds before impact, Model X was no longer following a auto in front and began to speed up.

The report also notes that the auto was in AutoPilot mode for 18 minutes and 55 seconds ahead of the collision.

Earlier in the drive, the Tesla did emit two visual and one auditory alert to the driver to take control of the wheel. The auto gave Huang two visual alerts and one auditory warning to place his hands on the steering wheel during the trip, though those alerts were made more than 15 minutes before the crash. It is unclear why the alerts did not continue.

Huang's hands were detected on the wheel for just 34 seconds of the last minute before the crash, and his hands were not detected at all for the last six seconds before the crash, according to the report.

Musk had already said that the new Roadster's insane specs were enabled by SpaceX's rocket technology.

Video: Tesla Model S hits parked police vehicle. Another NTSB probe of a self-driving Uber Technologies Inc. auto that killed a pedestrian March 18 in Arizona found that the car's sensors picked up the victim, but the vehicle wasn't programmed to brake for obstructions. Uber had deliberately disabled the emergency breaking system on the vehicle, the NTSB found.

According to the report, Walter Huang was traveling south on U.S. Highway 101 as he approached State Highway 85. Federal agencies are investigating two other crashes in which Teslas ran into stopped fire department vehicles. At that point, it entered a "triangular-shaped boundary" between the main travel lane and an exit lane.

A second later, the auto sped up to nearly 71 miles per hour, then smashed into a safety device called an attenuator, which is supposed to act as a "smart cushion" reducing the severity of a high-speed impact.

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