Two men died in a car crash that involved a Tesla Model S sedan which was reportedly running on auto pilot with no one on the driver’s seat – as the car left the road and crashed into a tree. The impact resulted in the battery of the fire being set on fire which burned on for hours.
The accident occurred in the Houston-area of the United States.
According to reports quoting local authorities, there was no one at the wheel of the car at the time of the crash and one of the dead passengers was seated in the front while the other in one of the rear seats. The car could not negotiate n a slight curve in the road when it was required and sped off the road, claimed reports quoting accounts from first responders. After that the car hit a tree at a high speed.
There were however no mention in the reports about the speed at which the vehicle could have been travelling at the time of the accident or whether there was any attempt to bring the vehicle to a halt using brakes.
The passengers may have been using Tesla’s Autopilot or Full Self-Driving systems, said reports quoting experts who based their observation on the circumstances of the crash. The fire fighters who had been on the accident scene soon after the accident did not give any indication that there was third person in the car at the time of the accident or whether one of the two passengers were on the driver’s seat when the vehicle sped off the road, claimed several reports. Reports also
“With the physical evidence and the things of that nature on the scene, that night the position of the bodies the trajectory of the impact, they are 100% certain that no one was in the driver seat driving that vehicle at the time of impact. They are positive,” reports quoted Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman as saying.
According to reports, the age of one of the victims was 59 years while the other was 69. The reports did not name any of the victims of the crash.
“There was no one in the driver’s seat,” Sgt. Cinthya Umanzor of the Harris County Constable Precinct 4 was further quoted in another report as saying.
There were no comments on the accident available from Tesla and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In recent times, there has been growing scrutiny over Tesla’s semi-automated driving system after accidents involving cars fitted with the system and even as the company is preparing to launch an updated “full self-driving” software to more customers.
27 investigations into crashes of Tesla vehicles had been opened by it, the US auto safety agency had said in March and had added that at least three of those crashes had occurred in recent times.
Tesla is expecting to make huge profits from its full self-driving software, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in January and added that he is “highly confident the car will be able to drive itself with reliability in excess of human this year.”
(Adapted from AutoWeek.in)