Tesla's autopilot was engaged prior to fatal Florida crash: NTSB report

Location of Telsa crash

Location of Telsa crash

In a 2017 report on the Gainesville crash, the NTSB wrote that design limitations of Autopilot played a major role. "The driver engaged the Autopilot about 10 seconds before the collision".

"Neither the preliminary data nor the videos indicate that the driver or [Autopilot] executed evasive maneuvers", the report adds.

The driver of the Model 3, Jeremy Beren Banner, perished in the crash.

Tesla has since phased in a requirement that the driver touch the steering wheel and apply a small amount of torque to it every 20-25 seconds. A semi tractor-trailer was crossing those lanes to turn northbound, but slowed before the turn, obstructing the lane ahead of the electric auto, which struck the left side of the semi's trailer and then continued traveling for 1,600 feet (nearly a third of a mile) from the accident site. But if you've driven a vehicle with a system like Autopilot, those systems rely on the driver applying torque to the wheel to register that the driver is doing their part.

According to NTSB investigators, Tesla's advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), Autopilot, was engaged about 10 seconds before impact.

The accident, which involved the Tesla Model 3 driving into and then under a semi's trailer, saw the Tesla's roof sheared completely off the vehicle and its occupant instantly killed.

Neither Brown nor his vehicle braked for a tractor-trailer, which had turned left in front of the Tesla and was crossing its path. A final, conclusive report will be released at a later date. Vehicle logs show that he took his hands off the steering wheel immediately after activating Autopilot, the statement said.

More news: U.S. woman arrested after child snatched at McDonald's in downtown LA
More news: Iran 'heightened risk' prompts United Kingdom to raise Iraq threat level
More news: Five things we learned from Archie's birth certificate

After that crash, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company made changes in its system so radar would play more of a role in detecting objects.

Autopilot was also engaged when Apple engineer Wei "Walter" Huang crashed his Model X into a road barrier and died. In April, his family filed a lawsuit against Tesla in a California state court, alleging negligence on the part of the electric vehicle maker.

Tesla said it was the only time during the journey that Autopilot had been activated.

In response to the NTSB preliminary findings, a Tesla spokesperson in an email Thursday said, "We are deeply saddened by this accident and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy".

"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", the company said.

According to the NTSB preliminary report, citing data from the vehicle, supplied with cooperation from Tesla, the vehicle was traveling 68 miles per hour in a 55-mph zone, and the sole-occupant driver, 50-year-old Jeremy Banner, had engaged Autopilot about 10 seconds before the crash.

Now, at first glance, it's easy to blame the driver because the vehicle's data tells us that his hands weren't where they should have been.

Recommended News

  • Paying tribute to fallen Appleton Firefighter

    Paying tribute to fallen Appleton Firefighter

    Authorities said the investigation into the incident is ongoing and that funeral arrangements are pending for the firefighter. Early Thursday morning, the lights from emergency vehicles lit the way as the fallen firefighter's body arrived in Milwaukee.
    High winds force SpaceX to postpone first launch of Starlink satellites

    High winds force SpaceX to postpone first launch of Starlink satellites

    That's a staggering figure - more than twice the total number of operational satellites that were in orbit in January 2015. SpaceX plans to use Starlink to generate more funding in support of its goal of establishing a colony on Mars, Musk said.
    Pokemon Rumble Rush revealed for iOS and Android

    Pokemon Rumble Rush revealed for iOS and Android

    The game was unveiled in Japan this morning as Pokemon Scramble SP, but it's going to be known as Pokemon Rumble Rush in the West. While not a multiplayer title, discovering an island before other players will grant you the ability to name it.
  • Internet sensation Grumpy Cat dies age seven

    Internet sensation Grumpy Cat dies age seven

    Grumpy Cat had more than 8 million followers on Facebook, 2.5 million on Instagram and more than 1.5 million on Twitter. So, although the face that launched a thousand memes is gone, it's likely the cat's image isn't going anywhere.
    Democrats Say Alabama Is Killing People By Banning Abortion

    Democrats Say Alabama Is Killing People By Banning Abortion

    Alabama officials say their law is created to take on the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Seventy-one percent of Americans, including 52 percent of Republicans, oppose overturning Roe v.
    Aaron Rodgers Spotted On ‘Game Of Thrones’

    Aaron Rodgers Spotted On ‘Game Of Thrones’

    Despite his best efforts, Rodgers's character succumbs to the Dragon Queen's wrath and meets a violent, fiery end. Something tells us any fan would appreciate a dramatic Game of Thrones entrance (and exit) like his.
  • Patrick Peterson Suspended Six Games for Violating NFL's Performance-Enhancing Drug Policy

    Patrick Peterson Suspended Six Games for Violating NFL's Performance-Enhancing Drug Policy

    ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Thursday morning that Peterson had been suspended. "I communicated with Patrick". Standard NFL protocol usually calls for a four-game suspension for first-time offenders, which Peterson is.
    Motorola One Vision official with 21:9 screen and 48MP camera

    Motorola One Vision official with 21:9 screen and 48MP camera

    The Motorola One Vision comes with a 3,500 mAh battery with 15W fast charging via the included TurboPower charger. Motorola is expanding its smartphone family once again, this time with the announcement of the One Vision .
    Amazon Updates Its Cheapest Fire Tablet (a Little)

    Amazon Updates Its Cheapest Fire Tablet (a Little)

    Tablets have shrunk in popularity in the past few years but that isnt stopping Amazon from developing its affordable Fire lineup. The biggest change here is that storage options for the Fire 7 have doubled in size to 16GB and 32GB.
  • Sarri in talks to replace Allegri as Juventus manager

    Sarri in talks to replace Allegri as Juventus manager

    On both occasions Juve were defeated by Spanish opposition, in Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively. But he has been unable to win a much-coveted Champions League crown, losing the 2015 and 2017 finals.
    Kim Kardashian reveals name of fourth child with Kanye West

    Kim Kardashian reveals name of fourth child with Kanye West

    On Instagram , Kardashian post a screenshot of three text messages from West , which read, "Beautiful Mother's Day". The 38-year-old reality star took to her Twitter to share that the couple have named the newborn Psalm West .
    Epic launches its first major games sale, the Epic Mega Sale

    Epic launches its first major games sale, the Epic Mega Sale

    Incidentally, Kotaku also reports that two games have been temporarily removed from the Epic Games Store by their publishers. As part of the sale, Epic Games is also promising an additional $10 off when you buy any game that costs at least $14.99.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.