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Tesla confirms Utah driver engaged autopilot functions before slamming into firetruck

Tesla confirms Utah driver engaged autopilot functions before slamming into firetruck

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation into the latest Tesla Autopilot crash that injured a Model S driver in Utah. The SCI team gathers various data from basic information that are found in routine police and insurance crash reports as well as comprehensive data from special reports that come from professional crash investigation teams.

The driver had previously told police that she had engaged the autopilot and was "looking at her phone prior to the collision".

The NHTSA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating a March crash involving a Tesla Model X in California where the driver was killed.

Tesla said on Wednesday drivers are repeatedly warned to keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control of their vehicle at all times, while South Jordan police reiterated that drivers of semi-autonomous vehicles must remain alert and in control of the vehicle at all times.

About 1 minute and 22 seconds before the crash, she re-enabled Autosteer and Cruise Control, and then, within two seconds, took her hands off the steering wheel again.

The driver was traveling at 60 miles (97 km) per hour when the Model S smashed into a fire truck stopped at a red light about 20 miles south of Salt Lake City on Friday night, according to police. "Based upon witness information, the driver of the Tesla did not brake or take any action to avoid the collision", a statement from South Jordan Police said.

Police issued the driver a traffic citation for failure to keep proper lookout.

Tesla has released its findings about the recent Model S Autopilot crash in South Jordan, Utah. This time a Model S burst into flames after spinning into a wall.

CEO Elon Musk has criticized the attention surrounding such incidents, arguing that Tesla's vehicles are four times safer than average cars on the road. It is also probing the January crash of a Tesla vehicle apparently traveling in Autopilot that struck a fire truck. It marks at least the third investigation into crashes involving the company's cars since March. "An impact at that speed usually results in severe injury or death", he tweeted. NHTSA initially put the blame on the driver, Joshua Brown, accusing him of being distracted and not making any effort to avoid crashing into a truck that pulled in front of his Model S. But a separate probe by the NTSB also faulted Autopilot for not recognizing the white truck because it was backlit by a bright Florida sky.

In a statement to the Deseret News, South Jordan Police Sgt. Sam Winkler stated that the driver of the electric auto had been looking at her smartphone because she was searching for an alternate route.

But during an earnings conference call this month, Musk indicated a fully autonomous - as in hands-free - version of Autopilot is close to release.

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