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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Wednesday that driver errors and Autopilot caused a January 2018 crash of a Model S into a parked fire truck.
According to the report: ”The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the Culver City, California, rear-end crash was the Tesla driver’s lack of response to the stationary fire truck in his travel lane, due to inattention and overreliance on the vehicle’s advanced driver assistance system; the Tesla’s Autopilot design, which permitted the driver to disengage from the driving task; and the driver’s use of the system in ways inconsistent with guidance and warnings from the manufacturer.”
Performance data collected during the investigation show that the Tesla followed various lead vehicles in heavy traffic for minutes before the crash. When the last lead vehicle changed lanes—3 to 4 seconds before the crash—revealing the fire truck on the path of the Tesla, the system was unable to immediately detect the hazard and accelerated the Tesla toward the stationary truck.
“By the time the system detected the stationary vehicle and gave the driver a collision warning—0.49 second before impact —the collision was imminent and the warning was too late, particularly for an inattentive driver,” the report said. “The AEB system did not activate. Had the driver been attending to the driving task, he could have taken evasive action to avoid or mitigate the collision.”
The fire truck was unoccupied and the driver was not injured in the incident.