Last March, a new case of fatal accident involving a Tesla Model X with Autopilot activated had rekindled fears around the limitations of the manufacturer's driving assistance service and triggered a new investigation of the NTSB ((National Transportation Safety Board) who had gone sour with Tesla, each accusing himself of not respecting the framework of the investigation.
The manufacturer had given details from the vehicle logs, indicating in particular that the driver did not have his hands on the steering wheel just before the crash and that no attempt to brake had been initiated, causing a shock to more 100 km / h on a lane separator whose damping system was inoperative, causing major damage and fire of the batteries.
The NTSB had not appreciated this early dissemination of information aimed at exonerating the Autopilot system, resulting in a passing of arms with the manufacturer.
In a preliminary report, the Authority confirms, however, that the driver did not have his hands on the wheel 6 seconds before impact and neglected several audio and visual cues instructing him to hold the wheel.
Failure to pay attention to traffic and obstacles could therefore be the cause of the accident, clearing the Autopilot at least in part, which must be used while keeping your hands on the wheel and staying alert to traffic.
As in a previous report, the NTSB could however consider that the means to ensure compliance with these provisions are too easily bypassable by drivers.
And all the questions around this accident are not resolved since other Tesla owners have noted that the Autopilot tends to get confused up to the famous lane separator.