Electric car manufacturer Tesla said the Autopilot driving software was triggered during a recent fatal accident in the United States, an admission that could heighten concerns about this type of system allowing maneuvering without the intervention of the driver.
A Model X Tesla struck a concrete safety barrier on a highway on March 23 near Moutain View, California, before catching fire. The driver, identified by the local press as a 38-year-old man, later died in the hospital.
“ In the moments before the collision (…) the Autopilot was engaged, ” said Tesla in a statement posted online Friday night. “ More than a year ago, the US government estimated that the first version of Autopilot reduced the collision rate by 40%, ” says the group.
“ The driver had received several visual warnings and an audible warning that he had to hold hands (on the steering wheel) earlier, and the driver’s hands were not detected on the steering wheel for six seconds. preceded the collision,“says Tesla.
“ The driver had about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the barrier and the damaged part of the guardrail, but the vehicle records show that no action has been taken, ” says Tesla.
The fact that this slide was “ stamped in a previous accident without being replaced afterwards ” explains that the Tesla vehicle was so rugged, according to the group.
“ We have never seen this level of damage on a Model X in other accidents,” he says.
The NTSB, the US transport regulator, opened an investigation Tuesday following the accident, which is particularly interested in the Autopilot system, which allows a number of maneuvers without the intervention of the driver.