Tesla Releases Statement On Fatal Model X Accident
Tesla has released a statement regarding a recent fatal accident with a Tesla Model X vehicle in California. The car crashed on a highway, but engineers can’t access the car’s logs at the moment because of the damage. Unfortunately, the driver of the Model X passes away. Tesla states that they are investigating the accident, and are hoping to access the logs soon. It’s also unclear if the driver passed away due to the impact of the crash or the fire that existed in the car.
Because the logs are still unavailable, there’s still uncertainty regarding whether or not the Autopilot function of the car was used. Elon Musk’s company is currently co-operating with the local authorities to acquire the car’s logs and determine what caused the accident. The National Transportation Safety Board has already stated that it was unclear if Autopilot was enabled, yet Tesla’s stock price plummeted by as much as 25 percent. At the moment, Autopilot is not the main investigation point of the accident.
Tesla has stated on its blog that fire in their cars spreads remarkably slower than usual gar cars, to give the driver and eventual passengers time to escape. Eyewitnesses have claimed that this was indeed the case and the fire did not spread quickly.
The company also doubts that Autopilot would be the cause of the Model X accident. This specific road is being traveled by Autopilot more than two hundred times per day without any accidents, with a total of 85,000 times since the introduction of Autopilot back in 2015.
The reason that the accident was so severe was because of a damaged crash attenuator was still in place on the specific road. The crash attenuator was damaged because of an earlier accident but hadn’t been replaced yet. These attenuators greatly reduce the impact force when a collision occurs.
It’s not the first time that Tesla’s vehicles have been under investigation, as the NTSB has conducted extensive research on Tesla’s Autopilot function. After a study of six months, the conclusion was that no faults in Autopilot have been detected. This investigation was a result of a fatal accident with a Tesla Model S vehicle in 2016, which was partly due to human error. After this fatal incident, Tesla released multiple firmware updates and hardware revisions of its cars to further increase Autopilot safety on the Model S, Model X and Model 3.
This accident only occurred a few days after the fatal accident with a self-driving Uber car hitting a pedestrian. This accident was hard to prevent, even though the human driver did not interfere. Uber has ceased testing of self-driving cars temporarily, as well as Nvidia, the market leader in chips for autonomous cars.