Tesla’s Autopilot may not have been available at the time of the ‘driverless’ Texas crash

Tesla’s Autopilot may not have been available at the time of the ‘driverless’ Texas crash


Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a two-page preliminary report on the deadly crash of a Tesla Model S in Texas last month in which local authorities said there was no one in the driver’s seat.

There are several relevant disclosures in the NTSB report. The first is that security camera footage from the owner’s home captured the owner entering the driver’s side door, while his companion got in on the passenger side. The car leaves the house, travels 550 feet before departing the road on a curve, hitting a drainage culvert, a raised manhole, and a tree. The car then burst into flames, killing the two occupants.

The second relevant finding…

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