Third Fatal Tesla Crash Under Investigation

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May 17, 2019—Tesla Inc’s Autopilot system was engaged during a fatal March 1 crash of a 2018 Model 3 in Delray Beach, Fla., in at least the third fatal U.S. crash reported involving the driver-assistance system, the National Transportation Safety Board said on Thursday, as noted by Reuters.

The NTSB’s preliminary report said the driver engaged Autopilot about 10 seconds before crashing into a semi trailer, and the system did not detect the driver’s hands on the wheel for fewer than eight seconds before the crash. The crash sheared off the roof as the Tesla traveled under the semitrailer.

Tesla said in a statement that after the driver engaged the system he “immediately removed his hands from the wheel. Autopilot had not been used at any other time during that drive.”

The company added that “Tesla drivers have logged more than one billion miles with Autopilot engaged, and our data shows that, when used properly by an attentive driver who is prepared to take control at all times, drivers supported by Autopilot are safer than those operating without assistance.”

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