Tesla crash in Texas unlikely to have used the autopost, authorities say


The Tesla Model S that was involved in a crash that resulted in the deaths of two men in Texas may not have worked with Autopilot’s autopilot function, according to a preliminary report released by the National Transportation Safety Board ( NTSB) based in the United States.

Neither the 59-year-old and 69-year-old men found dead in the vehicle that crashed on April 17 were in the driver’s seat when they were found by officers present, leading to reports that they believed the accident was caused by the forward driver of the car. assistance system known as autopilot.

The functionality of the autopilot consists primarily of adaptive cruise control (“Traffic Aware Cruise Control”) and lane keeping assistance known as “Autosteer”. The latter requires defined road edges to operate.

The intense media scrutiny was greeted by Tesla and his eccentric boss Elon Musk with varying statements.

While Musk said the first data logs collected by the company indicated that the autopilot was not activated in the car at the time of the crash, during the company’s first quarter 2021 results, call the deputy. Tesla’s president of vehicle engineering, Lars Moravy, said that “adaptive cruise control only engaged when the driver was buckled up and driving above 5mph, and he only accelerated. only 30 mph in the distance before the car crash.

“In addition, the car’s adaptive cruise control decelerated and came to a stop after the driver’s seat belt was unbuckled.

The NTSB opened an investigation into the crash with support from the United States-based National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and its preliminary report was released on Monday (US time).

In it, the NTSB confirms Musk’s previous statement on Twitter that the road in question did not have white lines to define the lines of travel.

The NTSB noted that there was no speed limit sign on the street in question, but that the speed limit was 30 miles per hour (48 km / h).

In the report, the NTSB also confirmed that using a similar Tesla vehicle, they were unable to activate the Autosteer function on that stretch of road, although it is possible to use the cruise control function. adaptive speed.

Hammock Dunes Place in the spring, Texas, towards the crash site. Source: NTSB

The NTSB will analyze collision dynamics, post-mortem toxicology test results, seat belt use, occupant exit, and electric vehicle fires during the investigation.

While the vehicle’s touchscreen console USB flash drive was destroyed in the ensuing fire after the vehicle left the deadlock the vehicle owner lived in and crashed into a tree, a damaged restraint control module which records data associated with vehicle speed, belt condition, acceleration and airbag deployment have been recovered.

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