Utah Tesla driver had hands off wheel before crash
Utah Tesla driver had hands off wheel before crash
Tesla confirms Utah driver engaged autopilot functions before slamming into firetruck
17 May, 2018, 13:58
The woman suffered a broken foot and some abrasions from the air bag deployment but, according to police, escaped relatively unscathed from the crash that demolished the front end of the Tesla.
Another Tesla Model S has been involved in an accident with Autopilot engaged, raising more questions about how humans interact with semi-autonomous driver assist systems.
The aftermath of the crash is pictured above. She had previously told police that she had engaged the system and was looking at her phone to compare route maps when the accident occurred.
The driver engaged Autosteer and Traffic Aware Cruise Control on multiple occasions during this drive cycle.
Tesla technicians recovered data from the vehicle and found that the driver repeatedly cancelled and then re-engaged features of Autopilot.
Tesla advises drivers that they must keep their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention at all times while using Autopilot, which the company says does not make the vehicle "autonomous". She took her hands off the wheel more than a dozen times, twice for more than a minute each. "She did not touch the steering wheel for the next 80 seconds until the crash happened".
About 1 minute and 22 seconds before the crash, she re-enabled Autosteer and Cruise Control, and then, within two seconds, took her hands off the steering wheel again.
"While Tesla's Autopilot feature indicates that a driver must be attentive at all times, the driver admitted that she was looking at her phone prior to the collision".
Specifically, the IIHS found that the Model 3's automatic braking worked extremely well while traveling at both 12 miles per hour and 25 miles per hour. This is the speed the driver selected.
Recently, the Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) put the Model 3 through some tests and gave the vehicle a "Superior" rating with respect to front crash avoidance.
"Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot doesn't make the vehicle impervious to all accidents", the statement said.
The South Jordan Police Department confirmed today that the driver received a traffic citation for "failure to keep proper lookout".
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has sent its special crash investigations team to the state, the agency said as details about the Friday evening crash became public Wednesday.
It's now your nearly weekly reminder that you need to stay attentive on Autopilot and that rules of the road still apply.
Musk complained in a recent earnings call that accidents involving self-driving cars get sensational headlines while the potential for the technology to save lives is downplayed or ignored.
NHTSA's special crash team is different from the agency's Office of Defect Investigation.
It's unclear if that system activated before the Utah crash. "Based upon witness information, the driver of the Tesla did not brake or take any action to avoid the collision", a statement from South Jordan Police said.
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