“The driver of the Tesla Model S, a 28-year-old female from Lehi, was subsequently interviewed by the South Jordan Police and said that she had been using the ‘autopilot’ feature in the Tesla,” the news release said. “While Tesla’s autopilot feature indicates that a driver must be attentive at all times, the driver admitted that she was looking at her phone prior to the collision. Based upon witness information, the driver of the Tesla did not brake or take any action to avoid the collision.”
Lommatzsch was transported to a local hospital with a broken right foot. The driver of the UFA vehicle was checked for injuries related to whiplash but did not need to be transported.
Technicians from Tesla successfully recovered the data from the vehicle. According to Tesla’s report, the vehicle indicated:
• The driver engaged autosteer and traffic aware cruise control on multiple occasions during this drive cycle. She repeatedly cancelled and then re-engaged these features and regularly adjusted the vehicle’s cruising speed.
• Drivers are repeatedly advised autopilot features do not make Tesla vehicles “autonomous” and that the driver absolutely must remain vigilant with their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, and they must be prepared to take any and all action necessary to avoid hazards on the road.
• The vehicle registered more than a dozen instances of her hands being off the steering wheel in this drive cycle. 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 was provided. Each time she put her hands back on the wheel, she took them back off the wheel after a few seconds.
• About one minute and 22 seconds before the crash, she re-enabled autosteer and cruise control, and then, within two seconds, took her hands off the steering wheel again. 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.