Tesla Model S involved in another Autopilot accident

Proxy advisor sides with critics of Tesla board and urges 'no' votes on three members

Proxy advisor sides with critics of Tesla board and urges 'no' votes on three members

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Wednesday that it was sending a team to investigate the crash of a Tesla Inc vehicle last week in Utah that occurred while the auto was in Autopilot mode.

The driver had turned on the "autosteer" and "cruise control" features about 80 seconds prior to the crash and taken her hands off the wheel, Tesla officials were quoted as saying to police on Wednesday by the Guardian. According to the summary released by police, the driver pressed on the brake herself "fractions of a second prior to the crash" and the auto had not slowed down from the speed she had set for cruise control.

She re-enabled Autopilot 1m22s before the crash, let go of the wheel two seconds later and then didn't touch the wheel again before hitting the truck at 97km/h.

"Drivers are repeatedly advised Autopilot features do not make Tesla vehicles "autonomous" and that the driver absolutely must remain vigilant with their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and they must be prepared to take any and all action necessary to avoid hazards on the road", the statement said, citing Tesla.

Police say the auto smashed into a stationary firetruck at around 100km/h, leaving the driver with a broken right ankle.

The Tesla driver suffered a broken right foot and Unified Fire truck driver was checked for whiplash, but not taken to a hospital, according to police. On two occasions, the driver had her hands off the wheel for more than a minute each time, reengaging briefly with the steering wheel only after a visual alert from the vehicle.


Tesla has released several statements on the accident, including a March 30 blog post that expressed sorrow for the family but defended its technology and pointed responsibility for the crash on the driver.

At the time, she told the police that the vehicle was on Autopilot and later admitted that she was on her phone.

Police in South Jordan, about 17 miles south of Salt Lake City, did not reveal the woman's identity but said the she had been issued a citation for failing to keep proper lookout while operating a vehicle.

The "superior" rating which Model 3 has achieved for IIHS' front crash prevention tests is the same as the rating already achieved by Tesla's Model S and Model X electric vehicles.

Both NHTSA and the National Transportation Safety Board assisted local police in the investigation. The vehicle was in Autopilot mode when it slammed into a concrete barrier that divided a busy Silicon Valley highway.

Tesla is in the middle of a huge push to ramp up production of its critical Model 3 sedan, an entry-level vehicle that it hopes will turbocharge electric auto sales among a new demographic and fill the companies coffers after years of bleeding cash. "Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot doesn't make the auto impervious to all accidents".

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