Investigation Into Tesla Crash Shows Autopilot Failure
The NTSB has found that Tesla’s automatic driving system did not work in the area of a crash that happened in Houston. The Washington Newsday reports.
The accident happened back in April in Spring, Texas, when a Tesla ran off the road and hit a tree, destroying the battery and starting a fire that killed the driver and a passenger. There were questions about whether the cause was the driver or Tesla’s automated steering system.
A report published on Monday by the NTSB found that the system could have been disabled at the time of the accident. The organization tested another Tesla in the same area of the crash and found that not all the features could be used. Traffic Aware Cruise Control worked, but not the automatic steering system.
Questions have swirled around this crash because it appeared that no one was behind the wheel at the time of the crash. Fire also destroyed the onboard data storage system and damaged another black box that tracked seat belt usage and speed.
The Traffic Aware Cruise Control keeps Teslas at a safe distance from vehicles in front of it, while the autosteer system keeps the car in its own lane. Both of these need to work for the Autopilot system to function. From the report, it seems there may have been a fault with the autosteer system.