Fiery aftermath of Tesla crash that killed an Apple engineer

Lloyd Doyle
June 12, 2018

The NTSB's preliminary report on the crash of a Tesla Model X on U.S. Highway 101 in the bay area suburb of Mountain View, Calif., indicates that Huang had the vehicle in its semi-autonomous autopilot mode for almost 19 minutes before the crash.

As the Tesla approached the exit, it moved to the left and entered the gore area - the triangular-shaped space that opens up between a major travel land and exit lane - where it hit the crash attenuator, located at the end of a concrete median barrier. Ubergizmo argued that it's unlikely that Tesla's cars can suddenly be transformed into fully autonomous vehicles and that term could simply be a fancy marketing term for new features as opposed to its literal meaning.

Eight seconds before the crash, the SUV was following a vehicle and traveling about 65 miles per hour.

One driver, 38-year-old Walter Huang, was killed in March when his Tesla Model X P100D sped up and then steered into a highway barrier while driving on Autopilot, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report released last week.

In the minute before the crash, the driver's hands were detected on the wheel three times for a total of 34 seconds - but the system detected no hands on the wheel in the last 6 seconds before impact.

Tesla says drivers are supposed to keep their hands on the wheel at all times when using the system, but many drivers at times opt not to do so.

In the days after the crash, Huang's wife Savonne said her husband had complained about the system not working properly near the area where the crash occurred.

The video poster says a friend filmed the video earlier this week near Fremont, California where Tesla is based.

A Tesla SUV using the company's semi-autonomous Autopilot driving system accelerated just before crashing into a California freeway barrier, killing its driver, federal investigators have determined.

In January, a Tesla Model S sedan that may have been using Autopilot hit a parked firetruck on Interstate 405 near Los Angeles. But the company has also heavily promoted its cars' supercharged ability to fend for itself: The Tesla website promises "Full Self-Driving Hardware on All Cars", which it says offer "a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver".

Huang's family lawyer, Mark Fong, asserts "there was a failure of both the Tesla Autopilot and the automatic braking systems of the auto". The SUV also was equipped with automatic emergency braking, which is always on in Tesla vehicles unless customers deactivate it by taking several steps on the vehicle touch screen.

NTSB spokesman Christopher O'Neil told the AP Thursday that, among other factors, investigators are trying to determine how the car's camera, radar and ultrasonic sensors were working and what they were tracking.

The preliminary NTSB report released today does not assign blame for the crash, and officials say it may take a year or longer to determine the probable cause.

"The impact rotated the Tesla counter clockwise and caused a separation of the front portion of the vehicle", the report said.

The investigations are far from complete, but enough details are emerging about several high-profile crashes involving Tesla and other company advanced driver-assist systems to draw important lessons about the limits of the current technology. 'The focus is on what led to this crash and how do we prevent it from happening again'.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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