NTSB: Autopilot Flaw, Driver Inattention Led to Tesla Crash in Culver City, California
CULVER CITY, CA. – According to a news report posted online at wsbradio.com, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a preliminary investigative report regarding a Tesla Model S crash that happened in early 2018 in Culver City, California. The agency found that a potential flaw in the Tesla’s Autopilot system and inattentiveness by the driver led to the crash.*
The accident happened in January 2018, when a 2014 Tesla Model S that was operating in Autopilot mode crashed into a fire truck that had been stopped on the side of Interstate 405 outside of Los Angeles. The Tesla was reportedly traveling at approximately 30 mph at the time of the accident. Fortunately, according to WSB, no one was injured in the accident.
Investigation revealed that the truck’s flashing lights were activated, as firefighters were attending to another vehicle crash on the interstate. The Tesla’s automatic braking system did not engage before the impact. The 47-year-old driver of the Tesla was reportedly on his way home from work and was not using his cell phone at the time. His hands were also not on the wheel of the vehicle in the seconds leading up to the accident.
NTSB has been investigating the crash since it happened and has now released some of its findings. The agency concluded that the driver of the Tesla was not paying attention to the roadway at the time of the crash, but that the Autopilot system, by way of a potential design flaw, allowed the driver to be overly reliant on the semi-autonomous feature and to check out from driving the vehicle himself.
Tesla responded to the report by saying that the company has made updates to its Autopilot system since this wreck that include more warnings for drivers who do not have their hands on the wheel.
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