The most recent fatal crash involving a Tesla vehicle that happened earlier this year is now being blamed on the vehicle’s auto-pilot system. According to a story appearing on the Bloomberg website, the driver of a Tesla that crashed in the state of Florida in March. Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the driver’s hands were not on the steering wheel when the car crashed into a semi-tractor trailer rig.
The NTSB said at the time of the crash, the car was traveling at 68 miles per hour and that neither the driver nor the advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) made any evasive maneuvers before impact.
Tesla, which markets its vehicles as being semi-autonomous, has had other vehicles that have suffered from similar issues. Most notably a similar incident which also occurred in Florida in 2016 when a Tesla Model S also slammed into the side of a big rig without braking or making any evasive maneuvers.
In the previous accident, the ADAS system was determined by the NTSB to be at least partially responsible for the fatal accident because the system was unable to detect the semi-trailer. Tesla made improvements to the software of the ADAS system. The NTSB is still not sure what the sensors may have detected before the most recent Florida crash even with the company’s latest improvements.
The NTSB is looking into these two crashes along with a third crash which happened in California when a Tesla Model X struck a highway barrier, killing the driver. The federal agency has also been investigating a series of accidents involving fires starting within the battery systems of Tesla vehicles.