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Tesla Model X Was on Autopilot Before Fatal Crash

Maybe sensing that a media backlash could be heading its way from not giving enough information about last week's fiery Model X crash, Tesla has issued another statement on its official blog.
Tesla Model X accident 1 photo
One of the most significant questions regarding the accident has thus been answered, and it seems that the famed Autopilot system was fully functional and most importantly engaged in the moments before the crash.

As previously mentioned, the EV struck a median concrete divider on Highway 101, jumped into the air and then got hit by two other vehicles.

The aftermath saw the SUV become almost disintegrated, with the front end completely gone and the car's batteries catching fire. Sadly, the sole occupant of the Model X was unresponsive after being extricated from the wreck by crash witnesses and succumbed from his injuries.

Tesla's latest blog update about the crash mentions that the driver had engaged Autopilot but had also set the adaptive cruise control's follow-distance to the minimum. He also seems to have ignored all visual and audible warnings in the seconds before the crash, which Tesla notes that it was so severe because the divider had been damaged in an earlier accident.

In the moments before the collision, which occurred at 9:27 a.m. on Friday, March 23rd, Autopilot was engaged with the adaptive cruise control follow-distance set to minimum. The driver had received several visual and one audible hands-on warning earlier in the drive and the driver’s hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds prior to the collision. The driver had about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete divider with the crushed crash attenuator, but the vehicle logs show that no action was taken,” said Tesla.

The Model X crash happened just a few days after an autonomous Volvo XC90 from Uber struck and killed a jaywalking pedestrian, so it was definitely not a good week for driving assistance systems.


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