The U.S. National Transportation Safety Council (NTSB) has published final reports of two fatal crashes involving Tesla electric vehicles driving autopilot.
More specifically, the report on the first incident involving Model X, which took place in 2018, was published last month, and now the agency has added information about the second accident to the report. It happened in 2019, when the Model 3 electric car, moving on autopilot, crashed into a tractor with a semi-trailer crossing the highway.
Although the agency criticized the car manufacturer for the death of electric vehicle drivers in these accidents, the final conclusion is that the main causes of the accidents are not related to Tesla.
In the case of the tractor, a detailed examination using all Tesla telemetry data and the recording of the built-in DVR made it possible to uniquely determine the fault of the truck driver. The Tesla autopilot is called a “contributing factor.”
According to the NTSB, the accident occurred because the truck driver did not grant Tesla preferential access. In turn, the driver of the electric car relied too much on the autopilot and did not respond to the presence of a truck. The company failed to limit the use of the autopilot system to the conditions for which it was developed.