Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Tesla driver says auto was in autopilot when it crashed at 60mph

Tesla driver says auto was in autopilot when it crashed at 60mph

With Tesla having recorded the highest Model 3 VINs one month back when it registered 28296 units of the electric auto, the latest Model 3 VIN figures show that the company has recorded a more than 50% increase in the number of VINs for the vehicle.

A USA traffic safety regulator on May 2 contradicted Tesla's claim that the agency had found that its Autopilot technology significantly reduced crashes.

In this case, the use of Autopilot hasn't been confirmed, but it does look like similar recent crashes on Autopilot where the drivers weren't paying attention.

Police said they do not know if Tesla's Autopilot feature was engaged.

As well as attempting to increase Model 3 production to reach a rate of 6,000 units produced per week, Tesla was hit with a lawsuit from the hybrid-electric automotive company Nikola Motor (private) for possible patent infringement.

The investigation into the crash in Utah is ongoing, police said.

"This is false", Musk wrote.

In his Tweet, Musk said the eyetracking systems were rejected for being ineffective. In its report about the 2016 crash, the National Transportation Safety Board said, "The way that the Tesla Autopilot system monitored and responded to the driver's interaction with the steering wheel was not an effective method of ensuring driver engagement".

Mr Musk also said it was "trimming activities that are not vital to the success of our mission".

On Monday, firefighters in Switzerland said a fatal accident involving a Tesla may have set off a fire in the car's battery.

Musk has on numerous occasions forcefully chastised journalists investigating Tesla crashes, arguing that the unflattering news coverage was dissuading people from using the technology and thus "killing people" in the process.

Police in the Salt Lake City suburb of South Jordan said Monday the driver also said in an interview that she was looking at her phone before the accident.

A Tesla sedan with a semi-autonomous Autopilot feature rear-ended a fire department truck at 60 miles per hour (97 kph) apparently without braking before impact on May 11, 2018, but police say it's unknown if the Autopilot feature was engaged.

In a Model X crash in Mountain View earlier this year, Tesla said the Autopilot system repeatedly warned driver Walter Huang that he needed to retake control of his vehicle.

Tesla said it had not yet received vehicle data and did not yet know the facts, including whether Autopilot was engaged.

Federal officials have opened investigations into at least two other crashes involving Tesla vehicles in the last two months.

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