"All aspects of the crash remain under investigation as the NTSB determines the probable cause, with the intent of issuing safety recommendations to prevent similar crashes", the report added.
While that claim has been confirmed by a preliminary report released by the NTSB today, it appears that there's more to the story than meets the eye. A second later it accelerated from 62 miles per hour to 70.8 miles per hour "with no pre-crash braking or evasive steering movement detected", the report said. "The vehicle did not detect the driver's hands on the steering wheel in the six seconds before the crash", the report goes on to say.
The triangular gore area is marked by white lines to show the divide between the exit ramp and the thru lanes on the highway, but the Tesla sped through the gore area and slammed head-on into a previously damaged crash attenuator at the end of a concrete median barrier, at a speed of about 71 miles per hour.
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More first responders need to know how to handle battery packs after they have been badly breached and I wouldn't be surprised if the report finds that the driver would have likely survived if the crash attenuator was fixed before the crash.
The Autopilot system was engaged on four separate occasions during the 32-minute trip, including a continuous operation for the last 18 minutes 55 seconds prior to the crash.
Then, seven seconds before the crash, the Tesla began drifting left to align with the lead auto as it headed into a left-side exit.
According to The Verge, Tesla has no statement on this new report but chose to reuse its original statement instead.
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In a shareholders' meeting this week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk didn't directly answer questions about the safety of its Autopilot system, but said that a significant revision would be pushed to cars next week. But that device had been damaged in a previous crash on March 12.
Two other vehicles subsequently struck the Tesla, resulting in an additional injury. "The focus is on what led to this crash and how do we prevent it from happening again".
In January, a Tesla Model S sedan that may have been using Autopilot hit a parked firetruck on Interstate 405 near Los Angeles. In that incident, the driver of the Model S did not touch the steering wheel in the 80 seconds before the crash.
The crash still remains under investigation, with assistance from the California Highway Patrol and Caltrans.
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Investigators said that the Model X didn't attempt to brake or steer clear of the crash. Tesla vehicles also have an automatic emergency braking feature that is created to slow a vehicle to avoid or lessen the impact of a collision.