An investigation into a 2022 Tesla Model S crash that left three people dead in Newport Beach has determined that the vehicle’s Autopilot system was not engaged at the time of the incident.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a preliminary report on Tuesday that revealed the Autopilot system was not in use when the Tesla veered off the road and slammed into a tree. The crash occurred around 8 p.m. on March 11.
The report indicated that the vehicle was traveling at around 100 mph at the time of the crash. It also noted that the driver had not applied the brakes or taken any other evasive action to reduce the speed of the vehicle prior to the impact.
The NTSB is continuing to investigate the cause of the crash and has not yet determined whether the vehicle’s Autopilot system could have prevented the tragedy.
The Autopilot system, which is available on some Tesla vehicles, uses a combination of cameras, radar, ultrasonic sensors and artificial intelligence to detect and respond to obstacles on the road. It can also be used to maintain a set speed, change lanes and adjust steering.
Tesla has come under scrutiny for its Autopilot system in recent years, with critics arguing that it does not provide enough safety features to prevent accidents. However, Tesla has maintained that the Autopilot system is designed to assist drivers, not replace them.
The NTSB report noted that the driver in this case had no alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of the crash and that his hands were on the steering wheel for the majority of the trip. The report also noted that the vehicle was not under manual control when the crash occurred.
The NTSB’s investigation into the crash is ongoing and the agency is expected to release a final report later this year.