THE FATAL CRASH involving a Tesla Model X in March happened just seconds after the car sped up while in Autopilot mode, a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has said.
The NTSB report, which explains the fatal crash in detail, is yet to determine a probable cause of the crash and the organisation is still investigating the accident.
Nevertheless, it states that the Model X sped up to 71mph in the seconds leading up to the crash. The car was in Autopilot mode during this time, the report states, a feature which is designed to match the speed of a slower vehicle travelling ahead of it. It was set to 75mph during the time of the crash, apparently.
The crash also resulted in a fire and shut down two lanes of Highway 101 near Mountain View, California.
"At three seconds prior to the crash and up to the time of impact with the crash attenuator, the Tesla's speed increased from 62 to 70.8 mph, with no precrash braking or evasive steering movement detected," the report states.
A Tesla spokesperson declined to comment but just after the crash in March, Tesla released a statement on its website claiming that the car's autonomous cruise control system was turned on moments before the incident.
The statement also makes public the fact that, according to data from the car's computer logs, the driver did not have his hands on the wheel and received several warnings before the crash.
"The driver had received several visual and one audible hands-on warning earlier in the drive and the driver's hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds prior to the collision," the statement reads.
"The driver had about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete divider with the crushed crash attenuator, but the vehicle logs show that no action was taken." µ
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