Tesla Model S Tesla

Tesla Automation Faulted by NTSB in 2016 Fatal Florida Crash

The accident occurred on a road that wasn’t a limited access highway for which Autopilot is designed.

Tesla Inc.’s design of its Autopilot system contributed to a 2016 fatal crash in Florida, U.S. accident investigators concluded as they recommended all automakers prevent autonomous driving systems from being used on roads for which they are not designed.

The National Transportation Safety Board, in its first probe of autonomous driving technologies being introduced by carmakers, recommended that systems such as Telsa’s Autopilot be unavailable when the vehicle is traveling on a road where its use is inappropriate, the NTSB concluded in Washington on Spet. 12. 

The accident occurred on a road that wasn’t a limited access highway for which Autopilot is designed.

"Tesla’s system worked as designed," NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said. "Tesla allowed the driver to use this system in a way it wasn’t designed."

Joshua Brown, a former Navy SEAL, died May 7, 2016 when his Model S struck a truck crossing the road in front of him on a Florida highway.

The board also recommended better data sharing by automakers and for improvements in the way vehicles ensure drivers are paying attention.

By Alan Levin

TAGS: Safety
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