NTSB: Autopilot was Engaged During Fatal Tesla Crash in Florida
FLORIDA – According to a news story reported online by news18.com, the National Transportation Safety Board has released a report showing that Autopilot was engaged during a fatal Tesla crash that occurred in Florida. Autopilot is the semi-autonomous driving system available in Tesla vehicles.*
The accident in question happened in March 2019 on a highway in Florida. A preliminary report from NTSB states that the driver engaged the Autopilot system, and the vehicle was traveling 13 mph above the speed limit on the highway at 68 mph. In the eight seconds prior to the collision, NTSB says the driver did not have his hands on the steering wheel of the Tesla.
The Tesla was headed south on the highway and suddenly crashed into a semi-truck that was slowing down and about to turn into the northbound lanes. It does not appear from investigation so far that the Tesla attempted to avoid the crash. NTSB and News 18 report that the Tesla driver, age 50, was killed in the crash. The driver of the semi-truck was not injured.
NTSB has not made any determinations about fault in the accident and has not yet released its final report on the accident investigation. In the meantime, since news of the preliminary report broke, Tesla has responded by saying that the Autopilot system is safe when properly used and improves the safety of drivers.
“Tesla drivers have logged more than one billion miles with Autopilot engaged and our data shows that, when properly used by an attentive driver who is prepared to take control at all times, drivers supported by Autopilot are safer than those operating without assistance,” the company said.
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