Tesla driver issued citation after crash involving 'autopilot' technology

US safety agency sends team to investigate Tesla crash

US safety agency sends team to investigate Tesla crash

Whether an Autopilot feature was engaged when a Model S collided with the rear of a stopped fire truck in the U.S. state of Utah on May 11 remained to be confirmed. On two such occasions, she had her hands off the wheel for more than one minute each time and her hands came back on only after a visual alert.

On Friday, a 28-year-old Lehi woman told police she had been looking at her phone when she crashed a Tesla Model S into the back of a Unified Fire Authority mechanic truck. "Based upon witness information, the driver of the Tesla did not brake or take any action to avoid the collision", a statement from South Jordan Police said.

"What's actually wonderful about this accident is that a Model S hit a fire truck at 60mph and the driver only broke an ankle".

The report appears to highlight a serious problem with the semi-autonomous-driving system the Palo Alto electric vehicle maker controversially chose to call "Autopilot": humans. "She did not touch the steering wheel for the next 80 seconds until the crash happened; this is consistent with her admission that she was looking at her phone at the time".

The driver of the Model S, whose ankle was broken in the crash, told investigators she had been using the car's Autopilot driver-assistance technologies, according to a police statement issued Monday.

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While its cars have Autopilot capabilities, people in the driver seats are called on to be paying attention and ready to take control of steering wheels.

It is the third Tesla crash since January that the NHTSA is investigating that may have been linked to autopilot.

The Tesla Model S slammed into the back of a truck at 60 miles per hour. Federal officials blamed the truck's driver for failing to yield, on the driver for relying too heavily on Autopilot, and on Elon Musk-led Tesla - the National Transportation Safety Board ruled that Autopilot contributed to the crash by allowing lengthy disengagement from the driving process, on a roadway unsuitable for the semi-autonomous-driving system.

"When using Autopilot, drivers are continuously reminded of their responsibility to keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control of the vehicle at all times".

The report also confirmed that the NHTSA sent an investigating team to look into the crash, but it will be conducted by the Special Crash Investigations Team, which gathers data on "special crashes" to help the automotive safety community.

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