NTSB: Man Killed In Tesla Autopilot Crash Ignored Warnings

NTSB: Man Killed In Tesla Autopilot Crash Ignored Warnings

Last year, former Navy SEAL Joshua Brown was killed when his Tesla Model S in Autopilot mode collided with a truck on a Florida highway.

At the time of the incident, Tesla said that it was the first crash involving Autopilot in roughly 130 million miles of driving in which the technology was in control.

Tesla has advised drivers to maintain control over their cars even when the Autopilot feature is enabled.

The most interesting bit of information from NTSB's data, which include Autopilot logs, is that the Tesla driver, Joshua Brown, received several alerts to "hold the steering wheel" before the accident, but his hands haven't been detected on the wheel for over 6 minutes - something that would be hard to do with Autopilot today since ignoring alerts lead to the vehicle engaging into moving to the side of the road and stopping.

A National Transportation Safety Board report on the deadly crash also found that Brown had his hands on the wheel of the Tesla Model S for 25 seconds out of 37 minutes that the auto was on autopilot.

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"Just a white cloud, like just a big white explosion, " said Terrence Mulligan, a witness who saw the impact and rushed to where the electric vehicle came to rest, told investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol accident report, the semi-truck was making a left turn at an intersection on the divided highway when it drove directly in front of the Model S as it was driving down the highway in the opposite direction. A newly published, 538-page report from the National Transportation Safety Board aims to set the record straight.

Tesla has also shied away from calling its Autopilot system an "autonomous vehicle". The system also sounded chime for six times. Tesla Inc has been continuously improving its Autopilot system and claims that changes made after Brown's death would have prevented the wreck. Whenever something like this happens, Tesla likes to remind us that Autopilot "does not allow the driver to abdicate responsibility".

NHTSA also investigated the Autopilot crash, but ended its investigation in January and said it found no problem with how Autopilot operated. The administration announced it would not order a recall and said Brown had ignored the in-vehicle warnings telling him he needed to keep his hands on the wheel. The driver of the truck, which was pulling a trailer, was unhurt. Jack Landskroner said the family is reviewing the NTSB report and has not sued Tesla.

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