NHTSA to Probe Tesla Autopilot Crash in Utah
【Summary】The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Wednesday that it was sending a team to investigate the crash of a Tesla Model S in Utah last week.
WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Wednesday that it was sending a team to investigate the crash of a Tesla Model S in Utah last week.
The driver of the Tesla said the car was in ‘Autopilot' mode at the time of the crash when the car slammed into the back of a fire truck at nearly 60 mph. The driver suffered a broken ankle. It is the third Tesla crash involving Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot system under investigation by the government agency since January.
"The agency has launched its special crash investigations team to gather information on the South Jordan, Utah, crash," the agency said on Wednesday. "NHTSA will take appropriate action based on its review."
Tesla did not immediately comment.
The NHTSA is still investigating a crash in March that involved a Tesla Model X using Autopilot on the 101 Freeway in California. In that crash the driver was killed. In addition, it is probing the January crash of a Tesla vehicle apparently traveling in Autopilot that also struck a fire truck. Both incidents were in California.
Last week, NHTSA also said it would look into a May 8 Tesla accident in Florida that killed two teenagers and injured another. The Autopilot is not being blamed in that case.
Tesla's Autopilot system uses a suit of cameras and radar providing a 360 degree view around the vehicle and automatically keeps the car centered in the lane and a safe distance from other vehicles. The system is not a fully autonomous and requires human supervision at all times, according to Tesla.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a separate government agency that looks into accidents and makes safety recommendations, has said it is not investigating the Utah crash.
The NTSB is investigating the other three Tesla incidents being looked at by NHTSA, including a August 2017 Tesla battery fire in California, after an owner ran the vehicle into his garage.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said commented on this latest accident and emphasized that the Autopilot is not perfect and that owners need to keep paying attention. Tesla has been claiming that it's safer to drive on Autopilot. Musk added that as the system improves, "It will eventually be significantly safer than human drivers, but it will never be perfect."
In an interview with CBS This Morning, Musk said "It's important to emphasize we'll never be perfect. Nothing in the real world is perfect. But I do think that long term, it (Autopilot) can reduce accidents by a factor of 10. So there are 10 fewer fatalities and tragedies and serious injuries. And that's a really huge difference."
NHTSA can issue a recall if it finds a defect poses an unreasonable risk to safety, something Tesla hopes to avoid.
Originally from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley. Eric has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology. Outside of work, Eric likes to travel to new places, play guitar, and explore the outdoors.
Russia's Yandex is Looking to Grow its Self-Driving Car Fleet Tenfold to Accelerate Developement
UPS Buys Stake in Self-Driving Truck Startup TuSimple, Testing Deliveries Since May
Continental Develops a ‘Road AND Driver’ Camera System for Autonomous Vehicles
NIO Reports Fewer Deliveries in July After its Flagship ES8 SUV was Recalled for Battery Issues
Head of the NHTSA to Resign Amid the Trump Administration’s Push to Rollback Fuel Economy Standards
UK-based InstaVolt Deploys the Next Generation of ChargePoint Ultra-Fast EV Chargers
BMW Brings its Wireless EV Charging Pilot to the U.S. for the 530e Plug-in Hybrid
Elektrobit to Provide Software to Baidu for its Apollo Automated Parking Project
- Audi Announces a Less Expensive, Shorter Range Electric e-tron SUV
- Velodyne Acquires HD Mapping Startup Mapper.ai to Advance its Lidar-based Driver Assist Software
- Tesla Will Not Offer a Model 3 Performance Variant for Under $50,000
- Quick Comparison: Long Range Tesla Model X vs. the BMW X5 50i
- Toyota Begins Autonomous Driving Tests on Public Roads in Europe
- SoftBank, Toyota's Self-driving Car Venture to Add Five Additional Automakers: Sources
- Honda’s EV Plan for America Includes a Modular Platform
- BMW Launching a Free Wireless EV Charging Pilot for Drivers of the 530e Plug-in Hybrid in California
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk Says the Automaker is On Track for the Biggest Sales Quarter in its History
- SoftBank Launching a $108 Billion Tech Fund That Will Invest in AI Development