The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Tuesday made some scathing revelations of the driver assistance systems of EV maker Tesla on Tuesday. It confirmed that the company’s Autopilot was engaged during a 2018 car crash in Culver City, California.
What happened during the crash?
According to the NTSB, when the crash happened, the driver had engaged Tesla’s Autopilot, and his hands were not on the wheel. The car eventually hit a fire truck which caused severe damage. According to the board, the car was a 2014 Model S whose Autopilot was constantly engaged for the last 13 minutes and 48 seconds before the crash.
The incident happened at Interstate-405 in January last year. The documents also show that the driver’s hands were off the wheel for the entire duration except for the final 51 seconds. The Autopilot system was reportedly giving the driver numerous alerts for keeping his hand back on the wheel.
The case is one of the several being investigated by the board as it is looking into the driver assistance system of the EV maker. It is also expected to publish a detailed report of the crash and its likely causes on Wednesday.
The problems with Tesla Autopilot
The truck was parked and was unoccupied because of which he was not injured. He later said,
“I was having a coffee and a bagel. And all I remember, that truck, and then I just saw the boom in my face, and that was it.”
The document also suggested that right before the crash, a vehicle that the Tesla Model S (2014) was following at 21 mph changed. This happened only seconds before the crash. As soon as the vehicle in front moves, the cruise control speed of 80 mph set by the driver was brought into motion. Eventually, it hit the parked fire truck. The system reportedly didn’t detect the driver’s hands on the wheels for the final 3 minutes and 41 seconds leading up to the crash.
The driver of the Tesla Model S said that he doesn’t remember exactly what he was doing but said that he was either drinking coffee or changing the radio. The NTSB report shows that he was not engaged in a phone call. He was also not found to be texting at the moment of the crash.
Tesla’s driver assistance system has been found to be engaged in at least three fatal car crashes in the US. These crashes are being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the NTSB.
Tesla hasn’t commented on the report yet.