Tesla owner was in driver's seat in Texas crash, NTSB says

Federal investigators have concluded that two men killed in a Tesla crash in Texas last spring were sitting in the front seats of the ca...


Federal investigators have concluded that two men killed in a Tesla crash in Texas last spring were sitting in the front seats of the car with seat belts on, contradicting initial statements by local police that no one was driving the vehicle for the accident.

The new information comes from a notice from the National Transportation Safety Board published on its website Thursday and suggests that the driver of the Tesla, a Model S sedan, had not put the car on the company’s driver assistance system, known as autopilot, and sat on the back seat – something other Tesla drivers have done.

A Harris County Sheriff’s agent said in April that evidence at the scene of the accident suggested that no one was driving the car when it crashed.

In its opinion, the Federal Safety Council also said that Tesla’s autopilot driver assistance system was likely not in use when the crash occurred. A critical component of the autopilot called Autosteer is not normally active on unmarked residential roads where the crash occurred in Spring, Texas, a suburb north of Houston, the board said.

Data from the car showed that the driver had depressed the accelerator pedal almost fully and the car was traveling at 67 miles per hour in the five seconds before the crash. The road has a speed limit of 30 mph

The car veered off the road and struck a drainage culvert, a raised manhole and a tree. The accident damaged the car’s battery and ignited. It took four hours for the firefighters to extinguish the high intensity blaze. The occupants of the Tesla, aged 59 and 69, were fatally injured in the crash and fire, the security office said.

The board noted that its investigation was ongoing and that it was still examining the autopilot; the fire that consumed the car after the accident; whether the occupants were able to get out of the car; and whether the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Tesla owner was in driver's seat in Texas crash, NTSB says
Tesla owner was in driver's seat in Texas crash, NTSB says
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