A man who died previous year when his semi-autonomous Tesla Model S collided with a truck kept his hands off the steering wheel and apparently did not respond to automated warnings from the auto to take the wheel, according to over 500 documents released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Monday.
The National Transportation Safety Board said the driver had been using the semi-autonomous driver assistance system for extended periods when his vehicle crashed into a 53-foot freight trailer west of Williston, Florida. The updated system temporarily prevents drivers from using the system if they do not respond to audible warnings to take back control of the car.The NTSB makes safety recommendations but can not order recalls.In January, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it had found no evidence of defects in the aftermath of Brown's death.
New results in the investigation of Tesla's 2016 autopilot crash case reveal the auto company to be "not guilty". The driver and sole occupant of the Tesla died in the crash; the commercial truck driver was not injured.
Tesla has said drivers of self-driving cars should keep their hands at the wheel and be ready to take over at a moment's notice.
Tesla has also shied away from calling its Autopilot system an "autonomous auto". The report showed no evidence that Brown was watching a video at the time of the crash, as had been rumored previously, USA Today said.
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Earlier this year, the US National Highway Traffic Safety (NHTSA) found out in a separate investigation that the owner of the Tesla Model S sedan had disregarded the warnings of the manufacturer to take control of the vehicle even if it is in the driver-assist function. Despite the warnings, Brown kept his hands off the wheel before colliding with a truck on a Florida highway.
The last thing Brown did took place two minutes before the fatal accident: he set the cruise control at 74 mph, nine miles above the posted 65 mph speed limit. The Tesla went under the trailer, smashed into a utility pole, according to investigators. According to an examination of the car's electronic data, there was no sign of the victim stomping the brake before the impact happened.
Brown, 40 and a former Navy SEAL, had been cited for speeding eight times between 2010 and 2015, according to OH records cited by the NTSB.
A Florida Highway Patrol spokesman said the truck driver was charged with a right of way traffic violation.