On April 19, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced a tweet denying allegations that Tesla Autopilot (automated driving system) of company was involved in a fatal crash in Spring, Texas.
Two people were killed when a Tesla car, most likely on autopilot, collided and caught fire on the night of April 17 in Texas. One victim was found in the passenger seat of the car Model S of 2019 and the other was in the back seat. The car crashed into a tree north of Houston after speeding and failed to turn into a turn, Harris County County Sheriff Mark Herman said. The location of the victims as well as other evidence show that no one was driving the vehicle at the time of the collision, Herman said.
Federal officials have criticized Tesla for the fire hazards associated with the batteries in its cars, noting that the company is not doing enough to prevent drivers from using the driver assistance function.
Two federal agencies - the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) - are currently investigating the accident.
Local police said in several press conferences that apparently no one was driving the 2019 Tesla Model S when it veered off the road, collided with a tree and was engulfed in flames, according to preliminary investigations.
Musk tweeted the following: "The data logs that have been recovered so far show that Autopilot was not activated and that this car had not purchased an FSD. In addition, the standard Autopilot would require the activation of lane lines, which this road did not have. "
Tesla sells automated driving systems under the Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) systems. A beta version of FSD is also released software to some customers who have the premium FSD option, which costs $ 10.000.
Tesla Autopilot and FSD are not capable of controlling electric vehicles in all normal driving conditions, while the company owner's manuals warn drivers to use them only with "active supervision".
Autopilot, now standard on Tesla vehicles, does not always recognize lane markers perfectly - for example, it can confuse bicycle lanes with other lane markings.
In addition, the system can be used incorrectly or even abused by drivers. A teenage driver recently demonstrated this in a demonstration video he posted on social media, wanting to show that he could let the driver's seat with the Tesla car's Autopilot system remain in use.
Finally, o Elon Musk defended his vehicles by writing on his Twitter account how A Tesla with an Autopilot system is 10 times less likely to crash than an average vehicle.