Tesla Withdraws From NTSB Crash Probe Over Autopilot Data Flap

14 April, 2018, 20:17 | Author: Darren Santiago
  • Tesla has declined to say how long drivers can now use Autopilot between visual or audible warnings to have a hand on the wheel

"While we understand the demand for information that parties face during an NTSB investigation, uncoordinated releases of incomplete information do not further transportation safety or serve the public interest", Sumwalt concluded.

We'll update this story when the NTSB posts its press release about Tesla's departure.

Companies or others who lose formal status as a party to an NTSB investigation can lose access to certain information uncovered in the probe and the ability to shape the official record of the incident, Goelz said.

But Tesla said the NTSB "repeatedly released partial bits of incomplete information.at the same time that they were trying to prevent us from telling all the facts".

"As it is the manufacturer of the vehicle involved in the Mountain View crash, the NTSB expects Tesla's future cooperation with data requests", the agency said.

The deadly accident took place on the morning of March 23rd near Mountain View, California.

We've reported a fair amount in recent weeks on the fatal auto accident in California whereby someone driving a Tesla Model X, and apparently using the "Autopilot" system (advanced cruise control), hit a concrete median that was missing its steel safety guard and was killed in the crash.

Tesla has declined to say how long drivers can now use Autopilot between visual or audible warnings to have a hand on the wheel.

The advisory group pulled the electric auto maker from the investigation after Tesla continued to release information about the crash, including a post on the company blog confirming that the vehicle was in Autopilot mode. The family has hired Minami Tamaki LLP, which said in a statement Wednesday that it believes Tesla's Autopilot is defective and likely caused Huang's death. On Wednesday, the company said that "the only way for this accident to have occurred is if Mr. Huang wasn't paying attention to the road, despite the auto providing multiple warnings to do so".

Despite the troubles around the ramp-up of its Model 3 production, Tesla is already eyeing the launch of its next model, the Y, in November next year, two unnamed sources told Reuters.

At issue is the NTSB's investigation into the fatal crash of a Tesla that was in Autopilot mode.

This is not the first time that the NTSB has removed a party from an investigation.

The NTSB described the decision to revoke Tesla's status as "rare", but noted that it previously did so in separate investigations that occurred in 2009 and 2014.

The family's lawyer believes that the company is doubling down on putting the blame on Huang in order to distract from their concerns about his vehicle's Autopilot.

Tesla retains its party status in several other NTSB investigations involving Tesla vehicles, including the crash of a Tesla auto that was operating under Autopilot when it drove into a fire truck in California.

The statement also does not address what may be a more fundamental challenge for Autopilot technology: Human nature. It said he took his hands off the wheel "several times" before the crash.

The statement goes on to staunchly defend Tesla, and even makes a seemingly veiled swipe at the family for talking to the media about the crash.

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