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Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) – Was Driver Killed While Watching Harry Potter?

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Autopilot

Reports have emerged that the driver who was killed on the 07/05/2016 in his Tesla Motors Inc  Model S may have been watching Harry Potter when the crash happened. The Florida Highway Patrol told the Reuters news agency that they found a portable DVD player in the car. The driver died after his Model S collided with a tractor while it was in autopilot mode. The driver of the other vehicle, Frank Baressi, said “he went so fast through my trailer I didn’t see him,” suggesting that the EV was speeding.

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Autopilot
Source: Tesla Motors Inc

Tesla Motors Inc Admits That Autopilot System Was Engaged

California based electric vehicles manufacturer, Tesla Motors Inc , recently admitted that the autopilot system was in use when the crash occurred. Numerous sources have stated that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has begun an investigation into the incident.

Tesla published a post on their website, reading “This is the first known fatality in just over 130 million miles where Autopilot was activated. Among all vehicles in the U.S., there is a fatality every 94 million miles. Worldwide, there is a fatality approximately every 60 million miles. It is important to emphasize that the NHTSA action is simply a preliminary evaluation to determine whether the system worked according to expectations.”

Although the crash does raise serious issues, the fact that the autopilot system is resulting in less fatalities (per mile) than normal driving is encouraging.

Crisis Averted – Tesla Motors Inc’s Stock Gains Despite Incident

It was speculated that the firm’s share price could fall, as the incident could unnerve investors & raise questions over the safety of their autopilot system. Although the incident occurred around 2 months ago, Tesla only recently admitted that the autopilot system was in use during the crash.

In contrast to the speculation & general consensus, Tesla Motors Inc’s  stock was up by 1.99% as trading halted on the 01/07/2016, closing for the weekend. A share in the firm is valued at $216.50, giving the firm a market capitalization of $31.90 billion. The stock is at a 5-day high, & is around $70 away from its all-time high (from the middle of 2015.) In other related news, the firm has sent 12 “golden tickets” to random Model 3 buyers, inviting them to attend the opening of their Gigafactory in Nevada on the 29/07/2016. The Gigafactory will produce much of the lithium-ion batteries required to build the firm’s electric vehicles (including the recently unveiled Model 3.) Batteries store electrical energy as chemical energy, allowing it to be released later.

It has been speculated that Tesla could cause the price of lithium to surge, as they will be demanding it in such large quantities.

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