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US Safety Board to Probe Tesla Autopilot Crash

American Government Topics:  Tesla Model S, National Transportation Safety Board

US Safety Board to Probe Tesla Autopilot Crash

VOA News
24 January 2018 (7:24PM)

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has opened an investigation in an accident involving a Tesla car that may have been operating under its semi-autonomous Autopilot system.

The board sent two investigators to Culver City, California, to learn whether the Autopilot was on and if so, how the car's sensors failed to detect a firetruck stopped on a highway near Los Angeles on Monday.

This is the second time the safety agency will look in to a crash involving Tesla's Autopilot feature.

In September, the NTSB determined that while the technology played a major role in the May 2016 fatal crash in Florida, the blame fell on driver errors, including overreliance on technology by an inattentive Tesla driver.

The California driver said the Autopilot mode was engaged when the car struck the firetruck while traveling 104 kilometers per hour (65 mph). "Amazingly there were no injuries! Please stay alert while driving!," the Culver City firefighters union said in a tweet.

Tesla wouldn't say if Autopilot was working at the time of the Culver City crash, but said in a statement Monday that drivers must stay attentive when it's in use. The company would not comment on the investigation.

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