Monday, 19 April 2021 18:02

Tesla Alleged ‘Driverless’ Crash in Texas: What is Known So Far

Written by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati


...some of the authorities who responded to the incident were reconstructionists, and they were very confident there was no one driving the vehicle when it crashed. 


“They are 100% certain that no one was in the driver seat driving that vehicle at the time of impact. They are positive. And again, the height from the back seat to the front seat, that would be almost impossible, but again our investigators are trained. They handle collisions. Several of our folks are reconstructionists, but they feel very confident just with the positioning of the bodies after the impact that there was no one driving that vehicle,” Herman said.
Was Autopilot involved?


Despite the inflammatory social media posts from some media outlets, it has not been determined yet if Autopilot had been active in the Model S when it collided with the tree.


It should be noted the roads in the Carlton Woods Subdivision on Hammock Dunes Place do not seem to have visible lane lines, which is a requirement for Autopilot’s activation. Regular cruise control could be activated in such areas as per videos from Tesla owners, but Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features are generally inaccessible in a residential area, at least in their current state. 


Is the NTSB investigating the incident?


In a statement to Bloomberg, National Transportation Safety Board spokesperson Chris O’Neil confirmed the NTSB does not plan to open a new probe about the tragic incident. 


What happens when Autopilot in engaged and a driver unbuckles the seatbelt?


One suggested scenario is the driver might have activated Autopilot and jumped into the back seat. This would have been a tricky maneuver as the driver would have had to unbuckle himself, which results in Teslas engaging their alerts and eventually coming to a stop. 


We thank Teslarati for reprint permission. 


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