Driver: Tesla's Autopilot engaged during crash

Cesar Mills
May 15, 2018

Musk said in the memo that Tesla still plans to hire more people to help it ramp up its Model 3 production.

The company confirmed the contents of the email, which was first reported on by the Wall Street Journal.

The carmaker is at a critical juncture as it tries to fix production problems that have slowed the rollout of its Model 3 sedan, a mid-market vehicle seen as key to the company's success.

A Tesla Model S that crashed into a stopped fire truck at high speed was operating in Autopilot mode, the driver of the vehicle told Utah police officials. Picture taken May 11, 2018.

Several troubles have hit Tesla recently, including the news that the company's Senior Vice President of Engineering, Doug Field, would be temporarily leaving.

Mr Musk had signalled he was going to restructure the business at the start of May, adding that the number of "third-party contracting companies that we're using has really gotten out of control".

Tesla faces a slew of other issues, from increased skepticism over its finances to safety probes by regulators. The long range, rear-wheel drive Model 3s that Tesla has been building so far, have been selling for $50,000 to $55,000, with most buyers opting for AutoPilot according to anecdotal reports in Tesla forums.

But Tesla emphasizes that "every driver is responsible for remaining alert and active when using Autopilot, and must be prepared to take action at any time". That is why we designed the system to deliver an escalating series of visual and audio warnings reminding the driver to place their hands on the wheel.

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"This is false", Musk wrote.

In his Tweet, Musk said the eyetracking systems were rejected for being ineffective. WSJ fails to mention that Tesla is safest vehicle on road, which would make article ridiculous.

Musk admitted that the work to improve Tesla Autopilot technology has not finished, but the company appears to be committed to making the system as safe as possible for its customers.

Police said they had been in contact with the National Transportation Safety Board about the crash. When interviewed by the department, the driver said she activated Autopilot before being distracted by her mobile phone.

Meanwhile, police in Utah have been in touch with NTSB officials in the wake of a May 11 crash in South Jordan, in which a 28-year-old woman traveling in her Model S at 60 miles per hour hit a fire truck that was stopped at a red light.

A Tesla Model S crashed into a truck from the South Jordan Unified Fire Authority in Utah late on Friday night, according to a recent Reuters article. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is also reviewing a Florida crash of a Tesla vehicle last week that killed two teenagers.

The Tesla driver's claim that the auto was using the autopilot technology has raised fresh questions about the electric vehicle company's semi-autonomous system, which is supposed to assist drivers in navigating the road.

Other reports by GizPress

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