U.S. National Transportation Safety Board to investigate Tesla Autopilot crash

Two federal investigators will examine the Model S incident

January 25, 2018
U.S. National Transportation Safety Board to investigate Tesla Autopilot crash

In the second such crash-related investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot semi-autonomous driving mode, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has assigned two federal investigators to probe whether a recent crash may be linked to a driver-assist system.

The incident involved a Tesla Model S and a fire truck in Culver City, Calif. In a post on Twitter, the federal safety agency said the “field investigation” would examine both driver and vehicle factors in the accident, which occurred this past Monday.

The Culver City fire department said in a Twitter post that on Monday an engine was struck by a Tesla “traveling at 65 mph. The driver reports the vehicle was on Autopilot.”

The NTSB faulted Tesla in a prior fatal Autopilot crash. In September, the NTSB chairman said “operational limitations” in the Tesla Model S played a “major role” in a May 2016 crash that killed a driver using the vehicle’s semi-autonomous system.

The limits on the system include factors such as Tesla being unable to ensure driver attention even when the car is traveling at high speeds, ensuring Autopilot is used only on certain roads and monitoring driver engagement, NTSB said in September.

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