NTSB Says Autopilot was Engaged when Tesla Crashed in 2018

Date: September 10, 2019

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded on Sept. 3 that the Tesla Model S that crashed in Culver City, Calif. in January 2018 was in Autopilot mode.

According to documents posted by the NTSB, the vehicle was on Autopilot mode for nearly 14 minutes up to the time of the crash, when it collided with a fire truck that was parked on Interstate-405. The driver had his hands off the wheel in the last 51 seconds of the drive and his vehicle continuously warned him to place his hands back on. The vehicle in front of the Tesla changed lanes right before the crash.

“I was having a coffee and a bagel. And all I remember, that truck, and then I just saw the boom in my face and that was it,” the man in the Tesla told the NTSB. No one was injured during the crash.

The incident is one of several investigations related to Autopilot driving that the NTSB is examining and raises the question about the risks that come with a vehicle’s ability to drive itself for a long period of time with little to no human interaction.

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