The National Transportation Safety Board has weighed in on a fatal crash the involved Tesla’s “Autopilot” driver-assist system. The NTSB says that the Autopilot tech was not to blame in the crash, which killed 40-year-old Joshua Brown, who was letting his Model S go down the road by itself in Florida last year when a large truck turned in front of it. It was the first known fatal crash that took place while Tesla’s Autopilot was in use.
Crash scene investigators said the Autopilot’s camera system could not distinguish the white truck against the bright sky, and the Model S never activated its brakes before slamming into the truck at 74 miles an hour, killing Brown, who was an unabashed fan of both his Tesla electric car and the Autopilot system. He posted numerous videos on YouTube of the car driving itself in traffic while he was in the driver’s seat.
The NTSB said the Autopilot system was not defective and it actually warned Brown to take the wheel seven times in the minutes leading up to the impact, but Brown failed to do so each time, letting the car drive itself for most of the 41 minutes it was on the road. A lawyer also said the NTSB confirmed that Brown was NOT watching a Harry Potter movie before the crash, which had been a persistent internet rumor. More on the fatal Tesla crash and the NTSB investigation: https://www.ntsb.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/PR20170619.aspx
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