NHTSA Probes Tesla Car Crash in Utah

The NTSB is investigating a third crash involving a Tesla vehicle using Autopilot at the time of the collision

Data from a Tesla electric vehicle confirms that a Utah driver had engaged the car's semi-autonomous Autopilot functions before she slammed into the back of a fire truck last week.

According to local media, police said the woman at the wheel of the auto claimed it was in a self-driving mode and that her attention was on her phone.

A Tesla driver who recently crashed into a truck while on Autopilot got a citation from the police after Tesla released data logs and the driver admitted that she was looking at her phone during the accident.

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. Witnesses told police the driver of the Tesla did not brake or make any attempt to avoid the collision.

During this "drive cycle", the Model S registered "more than a dozen instances of her hands being off the steering wheel".

Police in Utah said a Tesla report of the vehicle showed that the driver of the Model S enabled Autopilot about 1 minute and 22 seconds before the crash. This is the speed the driver selected.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is dispatching a team to investigate a recent crash in South Jordan in which the driver of a Tesla vehicle reported she had placed the auto on autopilot mode at the time of the crash, Reuters reports.

In a statement Wednesday, Tesla said that drivers are repeatedly warned to keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control of their vehicle at all times. The rating was somewhat expected because all the three vehicles boast the same active safety features - including Automatic Emergency Braking - powered by the Autopilot system.

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Among accidents to make headlines was a fiery March 23 crash in California that involved its "Autopilot" feature.

The report also confirmed that the NHTSA sent an investigating team to look into the crash, but it will be conducted by the Special Crash Investigations Team, which gathers data on "special crashes" to help the automotive safety community.

The administration did not immediately respond to a Deseret News request for further information on the nature of that investigation.

Police in South Jordan said based on these findings, the woman was given ticket.

The two federal agencies both are looking into a Tesla Model S crash in Florida that killed two teenagers.

With those types of crashes, people often bring up the fact that there's a defect because the automatic emergency braking (AEB) system didn't prevent the crash, but it is not created to stop crashes in all conditions.

Tesla says the system is not created to avoid a collision and warns drivers not to rely on it entirely; it's unclear if the system activated before this crash.

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