US Safety Agency Sends Team To Investigate Tesla Crash

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The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Wednesday that it was sending a team to investigate the crash of a Tesla Inc vehicle last week in Utah that occurred while the auto was in Autopilot mode.

SAN FRANCISCO - Data from the computer brain of a Tesla Model S that crashed in Utah last week confirms that the $100,000 sedan was in Autopilot mode, police in South Jordan said Wednesday.

The driver re-enabled Autopilot 1 minute and 22 seconds before the crash, let go of the wheel 2 seconds later and then didn't touch the wheel again before hitting the truck at 60 miles per hour (97 kph).

The 28-year-old had her hands off the wheel for 80 seconds up until the May 11 crash in South Jordan, Utah, police said Wednesday, citing Tesla's official crash report.

Tesla said drivers are repeatedly advised Autopilot features do not make Tesla vehicles "autonomous" and that the driver absolutely must remain vigilant with their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and they must be prepared to take any and all action necessary to avoid hazards on the road.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it's investigating the crash.

"What's actually wonderful about this accident is that a Model S hit a fire truck at 60mph and the driver only broke an ankle".

The police said the Tesla Model S during that day's trip registered more than a dozen instances of the driver's hands being off the steering wheel. She had previously told police that she had engaged the system and was looking at her phone to compare route maps when the accident occurred.

US safety agency sends team to investigate Tesla crash
Tesla confirms Utah driver engaged autopilot functions before slamming into firetruck

Tesla has released several statements on the accident, including a March 30 blog post that expressed sorrow for the family but defended its technology and pointed responsibility for the crash on the driver.

The Utah driver was issued a traffic citation for "failure to keep proper lookout" under South Jordan City municipal code.

"Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot doesn't make the vehicle impervious to all accidents", the statement said.

Police in South Jordan said based on these findings, the woman was given ticket.

Tesla's Autopilot relies on a system of radar, cameras with 360-degree visibility and sensors to detect nearby objects and perform basic functions such as parking and steering. According to the results shared by the organization, which is presently carrying out safety tests of the Model 3, the electric vehicle from Tesla Motors has achieved a 'superior rating for front crash prevention'.

This photo provided by Tesla shows a 2017 Tesla Model 3, a vehicle that has a semiautonomous driving system called Autopilot.

The SCI also collects relevant data like vehicle, occupants, injury mechanisms, roadway, and safety systems, which are all obtained from 100 crashes that they will study annually, according to the NHTSA. Tesla says the system is not created to avoid a collision and warns drivers not to rely on it entirely.

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