Tesla driver in fatal 'Autopilot' crash got numerous warnings

This week the National Transportation Safety Board, which is examining the crash, opened investigative files showing that Brown had repeatedly been warned by his Telsa Model S to take the wheel.

The first fatality involving Tesla's Autopilot feature led to questions over the safety of the semi-autonomous system past year, but a report published by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concludes that Elon Musk's company was not at fault.

Tesla notified The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) immediately after the accident occurred.

The report showed Brown should have seen the truck for at least seven seconds before the crash, but took no action to steer or brake to avoid it.

The man who died while driving a Tesla in Florida previous year received seven automated warnings that his hands were supposed to be on the wheel, according to the NTSB. The Brown family's lawyer told Reuters he hopes the "unequivocally false" rumors that he was watching a movie instead of paying attention to the road will finally be put to rest.

Tesla has touted the safety of its Autopilot mode, even while adding and improving the safety of the system.

After looking through the electronic devices in the auto, NTSB found no evidence that they were in use and its witness accounts don't match what was previously reported.

The incident raised questions about the safety of systems that can perform driving tasks for long stretches with little or no human intervention, but which cannot completely replace human drivers.

The NTSB said the driver of the vehicle, Joshua Brown, ignored audible and visual warnings from Tesla's "Autopilot" system, which was engaged at the time, to keep his hands on the wheel. Most of his trip had Autopilot enabled, and the system gave him seven warnings that said, "Hands Required Not Detected". The NTSB releases its preliminary work in a public docket before issuing a final report, which will include conclusions about the most likely cause of the crash, as well as policy recommendations. What he must have known, but didn't say, at the time was that the deceased driver, Joshua Brown, was among those who weren't playing by Tesla's rules. As for the truck driver, he too wasn't using his phone at the time of the crash.

  • Arturo Norris