Two dead in Texas: Musk: Autopilot not active in Tesla accident

Two dead in Texas
Musk: Autopilot not active in Tesla accident

In the US state of Texas, a Tesla collides with a tree and goes up in flames. The two occupants of the vehicle die. Company boss Musk says the autopilot is not on. But according to the police, none of the victims were behind the wheel at the time of the accident.

According to the carmaker’s initial findings, the Tesla, who allegedly had an accident without a driver at the wheel, was on the road with the autopilot assistance system switched off. “Previously available data records show that autopilot was not activated,” tweeted Tesla boss Elon Musk in the night. It was the company’s first reaction to the accident that killed two men in Texas over the weekend.

The crash in which the Tesla hit a tree with the two occupants is now even more mysterious with Musk’s tweet. According to preliminary investigations, the police were “almost 99.9 percent certain” that nobody was behind the wheel in the accident, as a spokesman for the Wall Street Journal said. The police found one of the men in the passenger seat and one in the back seat. The car burned out.

Accident investigators from the US agency NTSB, which is active, among other things, in aircraft crashes, traveled to the scene of the accident on Monday to investigate. The crash immediately sparked new discussions about Tesla’s safety precautions for the autopilot system. In the past, videos repeatedly appeared on the Internet showing drivers leaving their seats in traffic.

The police had admitted from the start that it was still unclear whether the assistance system was switched on at the time of the accident. Tesla should have the data to be able to say with certainty – in previous accidents, for example, the company was also able to specify exactly how many seconds before the impact the steering wheel was last moved.

Musk also pointed out in his tweet that the lane marking was missing on the road, without which the standard version of the autopilot system could not be activated. Tesla advises customers themselves that the autopilot is only an assistance system and that people in the driver’s seat must therefore keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times. He should also always be ready to take control. A few years ago, Tesla tightened safety measures: the software detects when the driver is not hands on the wheel and emits warning tones after a short time.