Tesla in a crash in Texas probably not driverless after all

Released on 22.10. 2021

  • The Tesla logo on a Model S. (archive image). Photo: Patrick Seeger

Already heard?

You can now also have your messages read out to you. To do this, simply click on the play symbol in any article or add the article to your personal playlist using the plus symbol and listen to it later.

Listen to the article:

The Texas police found an empty driver’s seat in a burned-out Tesla and assumed no one was behind the wheel. But new data show that the Tesla was probably not driverless after all.

Washington (dpa) – The Tesla crash in Texas, which made headlines in April, was, according to the findings of accident investigators, less mysterious than the local police initially thought.

*) At the time, the local officials had the impression that nobody was behind the wheel in the accident. The renowned investigative authority NTSB came to the conclusion that both front seats were occupied during the impact and the driver pressed the accelerator.

The electric car with the 59 – year-old owner and his 69 – year-old passenger only covered around 170 meters before it deviated from the road. The vehicle hit a tree and the battery caught fire. The car largely burned out.

The local police in a suburb of the city of Houston, Texas initially assumed that no one had been behind the wheel in the accident. The officers found one of the men dead in the front passenger seat and one in the back seat in the burned-out vehicle. This quickly raised the question of whether Tesla’s controversial assistance system “Autopilot” could have been active.

After all, the wives of the two men had heard, according to the police, that they fell over when boarding maintained the system. And videos keep popping up on the Internet of people who let “autopilot” take control and illegally take a seat in the back seat. Therefore, the accident sparked new debates about the safety of the system and Tesla’s measures against its misuse.

The automaker itself had denied from the start that “autopilot” had been activated on the route could be. Tesla emphasizes that “autopilot” is just an assistance system and that the driver must always keep their hands on the steering wheel and keep an eye on the traffic situation. However, critics are calling for Tesla to take tougher measures against disregarding this requirement – such as monitoring the driver’s attention with a camera. In an accident with the “autopilot” system switched on, the NTSB also criticized the fact that the person at the wheel could rely too much on the technology.

After the accident, it was initially said , the data memory of the vehicle was badly damaged. Therefore, at times it seemed that the accident might never be fully resolved. However, the NTSB managed to recover information from the device. In this case, you relieve the “autopilot” system. At the same time, the NTSB restricted the fact that so far these were only preliminary findings of the investigation.

Related Articles

Back to top button