Fatal Tesla Crash March 1 Is Latest to Involve Car's Autopilot

Tesla 3 crash in Florida 2019

Tesla last month introduced a new generation of Full Self-Driving hardware, and reiterated that its neural network and image processing can identify road hazards better than lidar.

The NTSB says that their report is only preliminary and that the crash is still under investigation.

The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report into the third fatal accident involving Tesla's Autopilot technology. Preliminary vehicle data show that the Tesla was traveling about 68 miles per hour when it struck the semitrailer.

NTSB investigators are also probing how the electric Tesla's batteries behave after accidents following several fires. Note that this is not enough information to say the driver definitely took his hands off the wheel; it only means the auto did not detect any torque from the driver's hands. "The driver engaged the Autopilot about 10 seconds before the collision".

Neither the data nor the videos indicated the driver or the Autopilot system braked or tried to avoid the trailer, the report stated.

In that crash, the driver of a 2015 Tesla Model S collided with the trailer of a semi that had swung wide to the right lane to make a left-hand turn.

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Neither Brown nor his auto braked for a tractor-trailer, which had turned left in front of the Tesla and was crossing its path.

Tesla also said it's saddened by the crash and that drivers have traveled more than 1 billion miles while using autopilot. In that instance, a semi-truck was turning onto a Florida highway, and the driver of the Tesla struck the side of the trailer and died.

NTSB noted in its final 2017 report into the 2016 crash that the driver was over reliant on Tesla's Autopilot, which was also engaged when it crashed.

Among seven recommendations it made from the investigation was that "Tesla's automated vehicle control system was not created to, and could not, identify the truck crossing the Tesla's path or recognize the impending crash". One report, issued after another fatal accident in Florida, said, "Contributing to the auto driver's overreliance on the vehicle automation was its operational design, which permitted his prolonged disengagement from the driving task and his use of the automation in ways inconsistent with guidance and warnings from the manufacturer". As a result, Tesla shorted the time Autopilot issues a warning alert when the driver's hands are off the wheel. In April, his family filed a lawsuit against Tesla in a California state court, alleging negligence on the part of the electric auto maker.

Preliminary findings indicate the Autopilot system was indeed on at the time of the fatal crash involving a Model 3.

Preliminary data from the vehicle show that the Tesla's Autopilot system-an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) that provides both longitudinal and lateral control over vehicle motion-was active at the time of the crash.1 The driver engaged the Autopilot about 10 seconds before the collision.

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