Tesla cleared of responsibility for fatal crash

Tesla driver in fatal 'Autopilot' crash got numerous warnings: US govt.
Tesla on autopilot in 2016 hit truck in explosive cloud of dust
Author

21 June, 2017

Former Navy SEAL and electric vehicle enthusiast Joshua Brown was killed in an accident on May 7, 2016, when his Tesla Model S drove into the side of a tractor-trailer while using the semi-autonomous Autopilot driving function. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) had been digging into the May 2016 incident in which OH resident Joshua Brown's Tesla Model S collided with a tractor-semitrailer truck near Williston, Florida, and has now released its accident docket.

The NTSB's report says that two Autopilot systems were active - adaptive cruise control, which allows the vehicle to set and maintain a pace relative to traffic in front of the auto, and Autosteer, which holds the vehicle in its lane.

New results in the investigation of Tesla's 2016 autopilot crash case reveal the vehicle company to be "not guilty".

An investigation into the first fatal crash in a self-driving auto found its driver ignored multiple warnings from the vehicle's "Autopilot" system. At that time, Tesla founder Elon Musk called the report "very positive". He died after his Model S collided with a truck while it was engaged in the "Autopilot" mode. They say that "analysis, findings, recommendations, and probable cause determinations related to the crash will be issued by the Board at a later date".

In 2016, the company said Autopilot "does not allow the driver to abdicate responsibility", however, Tesla Inc spokeswoman Keely Sulprizio denied to comment anything on the NTSB report.

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The report also indicates the vehicle was in cruise control at 74 miles per hour for "two minutes up to and just after the crash".

The NTSB makes safety recommendations but can not order recalls. The impact killed the Tesla driver, Joshua Brown, who had set the auto to a speed of 74 miles (119 km) an hour in a zone limited to 65 miles per hour.

The car's roof was shaved off and the rear was furrowed as it went underneath the truck until it struck a utility pole and rested in a home's driveway. But it is the second agency whose findings have not faulted Tesla's driver-assistance system.

Brown, 40 and a former Navy SEAL, had been cited for speeding eight times between 2010 and 2015, according to OH records cited by the NTSB.

The driver of the semi truck that Brown crashed into has been charged with a right of way traffic violation and goes to court on Wednesday.


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