Tesla issues statement on fatal Model X collision, withdraws from NTSB agreement

13 April, 2018, 07:30 | Author: Rosalie Gross
  • An Update on Last Week's Accident | Tesla

We've reported a fair amount in recent weeks on the fatal auto accident in California whereby someone driving a Tesla Model X, and apparently using the "Autopilot" system (advanced cruise control), hit a concrete median that was missing its steel safety guard and was killed in the crash.

Tesla said the system always reminds drivers to be alert and have hands on the wheel and had warned Huang several times on the day of the crash to do so.

In a statement of their own, Tesla denied reports of the nature of the call, as well as their removal from the investigation.

"Tesla withdrew from the party agreement with the NTSB because it requires that we not release information about Autopilot to the public, a requirement which we believe fundamentally affects public safety negatively", the statement reads. Tesla said it would "continue to provide technical assistance to the NTSB".

After partially faulting Tesla's automation system for a 2016 fatal crash, USA safety investigators past year called on carmakers to do more to ensure drivers stay engaged as next-generation cars start to steer themselves. In a statement, the automaker said it chose to remove itself from the investigation because of the NTSB's restrictions on sharing information before the probe ends. While that may or may not be the case, the NTSB hasn't wrapped up its investigation as of yet.

The goal of party status is to enable NTSB investigators to receive technical advice and guidance. In 2014, the party status of both the Independent Pilots Association and UPS were revoked during the investigation of the crash of UPS Flight 1354 in Birmingham, Alabama. For example, Uber is working with the NTSB to investigate the cause of last month's fatal self-driving vehicle crash in Tempe, Arizona. They expect $-4.45 earnings per share, down 125.89 % or $2.48 from last year's $-1.97 per share.

"The NTSB is a trusted investigatory agency".

The NTSB took the unusual step of stripping the carmaker of its role in an investigation of a fatal crash involving one of its vehicles, saying the electric-car maker failed to abide by an agreement not to disclose information while the probe was underway. The company is still a party in two other ongoing investigations into crashes involving its vehicles in Lake Forest and Culver City, California. Research shows it can be challenging for drivers to maintain vigilance while a vehicle is on Autopilot.

Tesla claimed that while there is one automotive death every 86 million miles in the United States, while for Tesla's equipped with Autopilot that number dips to one in every 320 million miles. Tesla released its strongest statement yet blaming the driver, Walter Huang, for what happened, but his family and their new attorney are fighting back.

Tesla responded by saying it would make "an official complaint to Congress" about the agency. Perhaps there is a sound rationale for this, but we cannot imagine what that could possibly be.

"As a condition to being granted this status, parties sign an agreement that explicitly prohibits them from releasing investigative information to the media or to comment or analyze investigative findings without prior consultation with the NTSB", the agency has explained in detailing a previous instance when the agreement was violated.

Something the public may not be aware of is that the NTSB is not a regulatory body, it is an advisory body. The outlet also said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also eventually launched its own investigation. Autopilot has improved substantially since then.

Mr. Musk says he is sleeping on the factory floor, as he did in Y 2016 when Tesla was struggling to produce the Model X crossover. This was the only time an SUV had ever scored that well.


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