NTSB releases preliminary report on fatal Tesla crash on Autopilot

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The autopilot system sent warnings to the driver to place his hands on the wheel more than 15 minutes prior to the collision with a crash attenuator located at the end of a concrete median barrier, but none were sent immediately before the crash, according to the data. Though the Model X driver was pulled from the auto before it caught fire, he tragically did not manage to survive the accident.

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.

A Tesla spokesperson declined to comment on the NTSB report, and instead pointed to a blog post the company issued on March 30.

While following a lead vehicle the Tesla began a left steering movement, seven seconds before the crash.

The report said that the Tesla did not try to brake or steer away from the highway barrier. A spokeswoman referred to a company blog saying that a Tesla with Autopilot is far safer than vehicles without it.

"At 3 seconds prior to the crash and up to the time of impact with the crash attenuator, the Tesla's speed increased from 62 to 70.8 miles per hour, with no precrash braking or evasive steering movement detected", reads the NTSB report.

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The report noted that at four seconds before impact, Model X was no longer following a auto in front and began to speed up.

The NTSB has now released its preliminary report of the accident. Among the information Tesla released was that the driver did not have his hands on the wheel during the final 6 seconds leading up to the accident - information that has been reiterated in the NTSB's preliminary report.

The probe into a March crash of a Tesla Model X in Mountain View that killed the vehicle's driver took another turn Thursday as federal investigators said the auto was speeding and the driver didn't have his hands on the car's steering wheel during the last seconds leading up to the collision.

More first responders need to know how to handle battery packs after they have been badly breached and I wouldn't be surprised if the report finds that the driver would have likely survived if the crash attenuator was fixed before the crash. Some say it lulls drivers into a false sense of security, making them vulnerable to a crash.

The data claims that seven seconds before the crash, the vehicle started veering to the left. Drivers are expected to keep their hands on the wheel and engaged at all times when the feature is activated. "It is the driver's responsibility to drive safely and remain in control of the vehicle at all times", it says. Then it reignited five days after the March 23 crash, and firefighters again had to extinguish it.