Tesla involved in fatal crash sped up before hitting road barrier

Tesla involved in fatal crash sped up before hitting road barrier

The vehicle gave Huang two visual alerts and one auditory warning to place his hands on the steering wheel during the trip, though those alerts were made more than 15 minutes before the crash. Though the Model X driver was pulled from the vehicle before it caught fire, he tragically did not manage to survive the accident.

In the days after the crash, Huang's wife Savonne said her husband had complained about the system not working properly near the area where the crash occurred. It hit the divider at that speed without braking or making any evasive steering maneuvers, according to the NTSB report.

The report said that the Tesla did not try to brake or steer away from the highway barrier.

The NTSB's preliminary report states that all "aspects of the crash remain under investigation as the NTSB determines the probable cause, with the intent of issuing safety recommendations to prevent similar crashes".

Four seconds before the crash, the Tesla no longer detected a vehicle in front of it, and with the cruise control engaged and set at 75 mph, it began speeding up, from 62 mph three seconds before impact to 70.8 mph at the time of impact. With no auto in front of it, the Model X began accelerating again to the 75 miles per hour cruise setting, before colliding with the concrete barrier that separated the highway from the exit ramp at 70.8 miles per hour.

While that claim has been confirmed by a preliminary report released by the NTSB today, it appears that there's more to the story than meets the eye.

The driver was taken to the hospital where he died.

Huang had set the vehicle's cruise control to 75 miles per hour and left Autopilot active for nearly 19 minutes before the crash, according to the new NTSB report.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also investigating the case of a Model S driven by a 28-year-old woman that struck a stopped fire truck on a South Jordan, Utah, roadway on May 11.

A Tesla spokeswoman pointed to passages in the company's owners' manual warning that automatic emergency braking is created to reduce severity of a crash and isn't created to avoid a collision. Musk has been highly critical of media reports on Autopilot-related crashes.

Then, seven seconds before the crash, the Tesla began drifting left to align with the lead vehicle as it headed into a left-side exit.

Federal investigators in May removed Tesla from the official investigation into the California crash after the automaker seemingly blamed the driver for the crash publicly.

"The consequences of the public not using Autopilot, because of an inaccurate belief that it is less safe, would be extremely severe", Tesla's March blog post said.

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