A terrible accident with a Tesla Model 3 occurred in Florida in early March. The accident, which occurred between the Model 3 and a truck, resulted in a fatal victim. Soon after the accident, the NTSB (National Transport Safety Board) and NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) announced that they would launch an investigation into the accident. In an early report, the NTSB announced that Tesla’s Autopilot was switched on during the accident. To be precise: the Autopilot was switched on ten seconds before the accident, according to data obtained by the organization from the on-board computer – the driver, however, did not have his hand on the wheel.
Before the two vehicles collided, the Tesla Model 3 drove nearly 110 km / h, almost 21 kilometers per hour too fast. The accident occurred when the truck with its trailer crossed the road from a side road. In the accident, the Model 3 hit the trailer of the truck, which tore off the roof of the Tesla, killing the driver. Only after less than 500 meters did the vehicle come to a halt, as can be read in the NTSB report. Data from all cameras and systems on board show that evasive maneuvers have not been carried out and no mention has been made of ignored warnings in the preliminary report.
Tesla responds to research
It is an early report, for the full report we have to wait a while. Via Twitter, the research organization indicated that in most cases 12-24 months pass before a thorough investigation has been carried out. It is not yet possible to say what the influence of the research will be. Based on previous investigations, Tesla decided to add warnings to the Autopilot. If users do not keep their hands on the wheel, they will receive a warning every 15 seconds. A Tesla spokesperson responded to the initial results of the investigations through Engadget , referring to his own safety reports:
“Shortly after the incident, we informed the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and the National Transport Safety Board that the Autopilot was first switched on 10 seconds before the accident, after which the driver removed his hands from the wheel . The Autopilot had never been used during this trip. We are saddened by this accident and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this event. Drivers of our Teslas have already driven more than 1.6 billion kilometers with Autopilot switched on. Our data shows that if the system is used by an attentive driver who can take charge at all times, users with Autopilot switched on can move more safely on the road than in cases without our Autopilot. For the past three quarters we have published our safety reports with data directly from our vehicles, ” said a Tesla spokesperson.