Tesla Autopilot has been vindicated by its event data recorder in a highly publicized fatal crash that was reported as having “nobody on the wheel.”
Earlier this yr, a wierd and tragic accident in a Tesla happened in Spring, Texas.
A Tesla Model S missed a turn, hit a tree, and caught on fire, killing the 2 passengers.
The strange thing was that the police said they don’t think anyone was in the motive force seat as someone was found on the front passenger seat and one other within the back seat.
Further, a member of the family of the Tesla owner said that he jumped within the back seat when starting the drive.
As we noted, the local media presented the accident as being an autonomous vehicle crash, but Tesla doesn’t have any autonomous vehicles on the road right away – only vehicles with driver-assist features and the FSD Beta, which can be considered level 2 driver assist.
Either way, the Autopilot was blamed within the media and each the NTSB and NHTSA launched investigations into the accidents.
Today, the NTSB released an update to its investigation based on the Event Data Recorder (EDR).
The agency reported that the EDR data points to the motive force actually being in the motive force seat in the intervening time of the crash and pressing the accelerator pedal:
With the help of the EDR module manufacturer, the NTSB Recorders Laboratory repaired and downloaded the fire-damaged EDR. Data from the module indicate that each the motive force and the passenger seats were occupied, and that the seat belts were buckled when the EDR recorded the crash. The information also indicate that the motive force was applying the accelerator within the time leading as much as the crash; application of the accelerator pedal was found to be as high as 98.8%. The very best speed recorded by the EDR within the 5 seconds leading as much as the crash was 67 mph.
This contradicts the reports that nobody was in the motive force’s seat.
Moreover, previously released postmortem toxicology showed that the motive force had alcohol levels above the Texas limit.
The accident stays tragic nonetheless, however it does function a great example that it’s higher not to leap to conclusions about crashes involving Tesla vehicles, especially in relation to blaming Autopilot.