Studies have found that a Tesla Model 3 involved in a fatal crash was on Autopilot Mode during the accident.
On March 1st, Jeremy Banner was driving a Tesla Model 3 in Delray Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida. The vehicle was moving at 65 mph when striking a truck-tractor’s semitrailer. The truck’s driver was not injured, but Banner was killed.
The US National Transportation Safety Board released a report describing the details of the crash. According to the report, “from less than 8 seconds before the crash to the time of impact, the vehicle did not detect the driver’s hands on the steering wheel.” With Banner’s death, there are now multiple deaths linked to Tesla’s Autopilot Mode.
As defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers, Tesla’s Autopilot Mode is a level 2 semi-autonomous system. The mode combines adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, autonomous parking, and automatic lane changes.
The fatal crash casts doubt upon Elon Musk’s plan of deploying autonomous taxis by 2020. In an event for investors, Musk said “A year from now, we’ll have over a million cars with full self-driving, software, everything.”
Tesla’s stock dropped 4.6% after the US National Transportation Safety Board released their report on the crash.
“Tesla drivers have logged more than one billion miles with Autopilot engaged, and our data shows that, when used properly by an attentive driver who is prepared to take control at all times, drivers supported by Autopilot are safer than those operating without assistance,” Tesla said in a statement.