Tesla confirms Utah driver engaged autopilot functions before slamming into firetruck


"The vehicle registered more than a dozen instances of her hands being off the steering wheel in this drive cycle", South Jordan police said in a news release, citing Tesla's investigation report. She repeatedly cancelled and then re-engaged these features, and regularly adjusted the vehicle's cruising speed.

A Tesla driver who recently crashed into a truck while on Autopilot got a citation from the police after Tesla released data logs and the driver admitted that she was looking at her phone during the accident.

Tesla advises drivers that they must keep their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention at all times while using Autopilot, which the company says does not make the vehicle "autonomous".

In January, a Model S hit a parked fire truck on a Southern California freeway, with the firefighters' union saying the driver said Autopilot had been on at the time of the crash. She then allegedly only placed her hands back on the wheel after being cued to do so by the automobile, both times removing them again after the alert went away.

Police told FOX 13 that the woman reported she was using the car's autopilot feature at the time of the crash, which happened on Bangerter Highway and 10400 S around 6:30 p.m. that day.


Minutes later he added, "What's actually fantastic about this accident is that a Model S hit a fire truck at 60mph and the driver only broke an ankle". She was issued a traffic infraction for failing to keep proper lookout. Against eyewitness reports, the car's computer did reportedly register brake pedal application, as well as her hands' return to the wheel, but the reaction was too little, too late.

The report also confirmed that the NHTSA sent an investigating team to look into the crash, but it will be conducted by the Special Crash Investigations Team, which gathers data on "special crashes" to help the automotive safety community. Tesla says the system is not created to avoid a collision and warns drivers not to rely on it entirely. The vehicle plowed into a fire department vehicle in Utah while the Autopilot, its semi-autonomous driving system, was turned on.

Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board stated that it is not investigating the Utah crash. After a fatal Tesla Model X crash on Highway 101 in Mountain View in March, Tesla reported that the driver of that vehicle had been warned repeatedly during the trip to put his hands on the wheel, and that his hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds before the collision.

The "superior" rating which Model 3 has achieved for IIHS' front crash prevention tests is the same as the rating already achieved by Tesla's Model S and Model X electric vehicles.

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