WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tesla Inc’s Autopilot feature was engaged during a fatal March 1 crash of a 2018 Model 3 in Delray Beach, Florida, in at least the third fatal U.S. crash reported involving the driver-assistance system, the National Transportation Safety Board said on Thursday.
The NTSB’s preliminary report said the driver engaged Autopilot about 10 seconds before crashing into a semitrailer, and the system did not detect the driver’s hands on the wheel for fewer than eight seconds before the crash.
Vehicle - Miles - Km - Hour - Mph
The vehicle was traveling at about 68 miles (109 km) per hour (mph) on a highway with a 55-mph (89-kph) speed limit, and neither the system nor the driver made any evasive maneuvers, the agency said.
Tesla said in a statement that soon after the crash it shared information with regulators about the Autopilot status and said after the driver engaged the system he “immediately removed his hands from the wheel. Autopilot had not been used at any other time during that drive.”
Company - Tesla - Drivers - Miles - Autopilot
The company added that “Tesla drivers have logged more than one billion miles with Autopilot engaged, and our data shows that, when used properly by an attentive driver who is prepared to take control at all times, drivers supported by Autopilot are safer than those operating without assistance.”
While some Tesla drivers say they are able to avoid holding the steering wheel for extended periods while using Autopilot, Tesla advises drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and pay attention while using the system.
Incidents - Questions - Safety - Systems - Tasks
The incidents have raised questions about the safety of systems that can perform driving tasks for extended stretches of time with little or no human intervention, but which cannot completely replace human drivers.
In May 2016, a Tesla Model S driver was killed...
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