Report: Autopilot might have not been fully on in Houston Tesla fatal crash


Fire and impact damage to Tesla following a fatal crash in Houston. PHOTO: NTSB’s website.

HOUSTON (KVEO) — Last month, two people died in a Tesla crash in Houston, none of which were in the driver’s seat. However, a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board states that the Autopilot might not have been not fully on.

In April, a Harris County constable told television stations in Houston that there was a person in the front passenger seat and another in the back seat after the wreck.

However, NTSB stated in the preliminary report that home security footage shows “the owner entering the car’s driver’s seat and the passenger entering the front passenger seat.”

The report states that the 2019 Tesla Model S P100D electric car had Autopilot, an advanced driver assistance system. Autopilot requires the Traffic Aware Cruise Control and the Autosteer systems to be engaged.

However, “NTSB tests of an exemplar car at the crash location showed that Traffic Aware Cruise Control could be engaged but that Autosteer was not available on that part of the road.”

In April, deputies said the car was traveling fast and failed to navigate a turn before running off the road, hitting a tree, and bursting into flames.

The electric car caught on fire because the crash damaged the front of the car’s high-voltage lithium-ion battery case.

Both passengers that were in the car died, their identities have not been disclosed, but they were 59 and 69 years old.

“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,” stated NTSB in their preliminary report.

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