Deadly Tesla Mannequin S crash unlikely to contain Autopilot, in line with NTSB

A red sedan cruises down a tree-lined highway.

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On Monday afternoon, the Nationwide Transportation Security Board launched a preliminary report for its investigation right into a crash of a Tesla Mannequin S that killed the motive force and passenger in Texas earlier in April. The crash made headlines as a result of nobody was discovered within the driver’s seat, elevating suspicions that Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assistance system was concerned within the deaths. This now appears unlikely—the NTSB says that video footage exhibits the occupants stepping into the entrance seats of the automobile shortly earlier than the crash. Moreover, the NTSB was unable to have interaction a part of Autopilot on the stretch of highway the place the crash occurred.

The crash occurred on April 17 in Spring, positioned in Harris County, Texas. In accordance with the NTSB report, footage from the proprietor’s dwelling safety system exhibits that the motive force and a passenger entered the automobile on the proprietor’s home. They then traveled roughly 550 toes (167 m) “earlier than departing the highway on a curve, driving over the curb, and hitting a drainage culvert, a raised manhole, and a tree.” At this level, the Tesla’s lithium-ion traction battery was broken and caught fireplace.

The hearth additionally destroyed the on-board storage of the Tesla’s infotainment system, however the NTSB says it recovered a fire-damaged restraint management module that may “file information related to automobile pace, belt standing, acceleration, and airbag deployment.” This module has been taken to the NTSB’s recorder laboratory for additional testing.

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