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Tesla Autopilot fatal crash: NTSB issues preliminary report, finds Model S driving at 74 mph in 65 zone

tesla autopilot crash aftermath

The National Transportation Safety Board Office of Public Affairs (NTSB) released its preliminary report following the start of its investigation of the fatal May 7, 2016, highway crash involving a Tesla Model S on Autopilot and a semitrailer.

The preliminary report doesn’t contain much information or any analysis of the accident, but it did confirm for the first time the speed of the Tesla. According to the NTSB, the Model S was driving at 74 mph while the speed limit was 65 mph.

The investigation is being conducted separately from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation.

Here’s the NTSB report:

NTSB Issues Preliminary Report for Williston, Florida, Highway Crash

The National Transportation Safety Board issued Tuesday its preliminary report for the investigation of a fatal May 7, 2016, highway crash on US Highway 27A, near Williston, Florida.

The preliminary report does not contain any analysis of data and does not state probable cause for the crash.

The preliminary report details the collision involving a 53-foot semitrailer in combination with a 2014 Freightliner Cascadia truck tractor and a 2015 Tesla Model S. The report states that according to system performance data downloaded from the car, the indicated vehicle speed was 74 mph just prior to impact, and the posted speed limit was 65 mph.

The car’s system performance data also revealed the driver was using the advanced driver assistance features Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer lane keeping assistance. The car was also equipped with automatic emergency braking that is designed to automatically apply the brakes to reduce the severity of or assist in avoiding frontal collisions.

A team of five NTSB investigators traveled to Williston to conduct the on-scene phase of the investigation. The team used three-dimensional laser scanning technology to document the crash location, the damaged trailer and the damaged car. NTSB investigators continue to collect and analyze performance data from the car’s multiple electronic systems. This data along with other information collected during the on-scene phase of the investigation will be used to evaluate the crash events.

All aspects of the crash remain under investigation. While no timeline has been established, final reports are generally published 12 months after the release of a preliminary report.

Here’s the more detailed report, but still only preliminary without conclusion.

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