Tesla Driver in Utah Crash Says Autopilot Was Engaged

Posted May 16, 2018

In the most recent incident over the weekend, a Utah woman slammed into the back of a local fire department vehicle while her Tesla Model S' semi-autonomous Autopilot feature was engaged.

Tesla's Autopilot system uses radar, cameras with 360-degree visibility and sensors to detect nearby cars and objects. The 28 year-old driver admitted to looking at her phone before the crash, despite the company's mandate that customers remain alert while using Autopilot, and not rely on the system entirely.

Responding to a user who indicated that Tesla's autopilot function still needs safety tweaking, Musk stated: "It certainly needs to be better & we work to improve it every day, but flawless is enemy of good".

Morgan Stanley automotive analyst Adam Jonas, one of Teslas biggest bulls, has dropped his price target for Elon Musk's electric vehicle company from $376 to $291, below the company's trading price at the close of market on Monday.

The 28-year-old female driver of the auto, who is unnamed, told Utah police that the Autopilot system was switched on she was looking at her phone when her vehicle slammed into the fire engine stopped at a red light. The driver of the Unified fire fix vehicle was checked for injuries related to whiplash but was not taken to the hospital. The driver of the fire truck suffered whiplash and was not taken to a hospital. "An impact at that speed usually results in severe injury or death".

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is conducting an investigation, but this doesn't look good for Tesla's Autopilot system.

Earlier this month, Tesla said its Model 3 production target remains on track, expecting about 5,000 per week in about two months. Two teens were later killed, a third injured, in a Florida crash in which their Model S sedan's battery pack caught fire after a crash.

Matthew Schwall joined Waymo's safety team led by former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Deputy Administrator Ron Medford.

Musk said "the probability of an accident with autopilot is just less", and he insisted the vehicle had functioned exactly as it was created to in the California crash.

In his email to staff, Musk said Tesla was "flattening the management structure to improve communication", combining functions and trimming activities "not vital to the success of our mission" in the reorganisation.

NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway told the Deseret News, as of Monday evening, the agency had not opened an investigation into the Friday crash in South Jordan but would make an announcement if that status changed. "And (the Tesla driver) could be facing a citation for failing to maintain control of her vehicle".