- The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report on a fatal Tesla crash that occurred near Miami in September.
- The Federal Vehicle Safety Agency found that the Model 3 electric sedan driven by the 20-year-old was traveling at 90 mph before the accident and subsequent fire.
- The initial report did not address whether Tesla’s driver-assistance system, including their standard Autopilot software, was or was believed to be involved in the accident. The investigation continues.
According to preliminary findings of the incident by the National Transportation Safety Board, a Tesla Model 3 was involved in a fatal crash near Miami that killed two people on September 13. Was traveling at 90 mph before hitting two trees and bursting into flames.
The Federal Vehicle Safety Agency also found that the 20-year-old driver did not attempt to use the vehicle’s brakes during five seconds of data, which the NTSB was able to collect from the electric car’s fire-damaged incident data recorder.
“Preliminary evaluation of the data indicated that accelerator pedal application ranged from 0 to 100 percent, the service brake remained off, and the maximum recorded vehicle speed was 90 mph,” the NTSB said in a preliminary report released Wednesday.
According to the NTSB, the residential road on which the accident occurred in Coral Gables, Florida, had a speed limit of 30 mph.
The NTSB’s initial report did not address whether Tesla’s controversial driver-assist systems, marketed as standard Autopilot and premium full self-driving packages, were or were believed to be involved in the accident. An NTSB spokesperson declined to comment on either system.
“Preliminary reports are silent on that aspect,” he said in an email to Businesshala. “The investigation is ongoing.”
The NTSB, an independent federal vehicle safety agency led by Chair Jennifer Homendy, investigates accidents to determine all contributing factors. They also give safety recommendations to vehicle manufacturers, the Department of Transportation and other groups and government offices based on their forensics and findings.
Four years ago, the NTSB issued safety recommendations to Tesla, but CEO Elon Musk and the company did not adopt them. Among other measures, the NTSB recommended that Tesla “limit the use of automatic vehicle control systems to the conditions for which they were designed.” This could mean, for example, only allowing drivers to use Autopilot or FSD, the company’s driver assistance system, on the highway and in mild weather conditions. The NTSB also recommended that Tesla design and install an improved driver monitoring system that can accurately detect when a person is actually not paying attention to the road and is engaged in driving.
NTSB President Jennifer Homendy expressed concern over the matter letter to company In October.
To investigate the September 13 accident in Coral Gables, Florida, the NTSB made a public call for photos or video of the accident from witnesses, and the fire that followed the fatal collision. Homendy commended Tesla for its cooperation with the investigation of the accident and another in Spring, Texas.