Fatal Tesla Autopilot crash driver had hands off wheel: USA agency

Fatal Tesla Autopilot crash driver had hands off wheel: USA agency

Summon is engaged through the Tesla mobile app or through the Model S and X's key fob, which activates the vehicle and moves it a maximum of 39 feet on a straight line.

The investigation is ongoing and could lead to the NTSB issuing new safety recommendations aimed at preventing similar accidents.

The National Transportation Safety Board's preliminary report on the crash gives a second-by-second account of the Model X's behavior as it approached the exit from southbound USA 101 to Highway 85.

According to a preliminary report from the NTSB, the vehicle increased its speed from 62 miles per hour to 70.8 miles per hour in the three seconds before the collision. Earlier today, the NTSB published its preliminary report on the events surrounding the fatal crash.

The Tesla was following a lead vehicle at about 105 km/h roughly 8 seconds prior to the crash.

But the report does not draw an explicit conclusion about the cause of the crash. In the six seconds leading up to the crash, the auto did not detect his hands at all. The cruise control maintains a set distance between the cars and traffic in front of them.

In the minute leading up to the crash, the vehicle's event recorder showed that Huang had his hands on the wheel three separate times, for a total of 34 seconds, but didn't touch the wheel for six seconds leading up to the crash.

The NTSB said in a preliminary report the 38-year-old driver, who died in the hospital shortly after the crash, had been given two visual alerts and one auditory alert to place his hands on the steering wheel during the trip. A second later, the SUV began a "left steering movement" while still following the other vehicle. Tesla vehicles also have an automatic emergency braking feature that is created to slow a vehicle to avoid or lessen the impact of a collision. Tesla has defended its iterative approach, arguing that its features, in conjunction with attentive humans, are already providing for significantly safer cars. And last month, a Tesla Model S in autopilot mode hit a stopped fire department vehicle in Salt Lake City.

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

Disagreements between Tesla and the NTSB over the probe culminated in April when safety officials said they had revoked the electric auto maker's status as an official party to the investigation. "While we understand the demand for information that parties face during an NTSB investigation, uncoordinated releases of incomplete information do not further transportation safety or serve the public interest", NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said in a statement.

But Tesla and its CEO, Elon Musk, have slammed press reports about crashes.

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