Tesla Model X in California crash sped up prior to impact

Tesla Shares Seen as 'Under-Owned,&apos by Analyst Kallo

The preliminary report issued by National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Thursday says that data collected from the vehicle indicates that Huang had been using the semi-autonomous Autopilot feature for 18 minutes and 55 seconds prior to the accident. Preliminary reports indicated the Model S she was traveling in may have sped up-similar to Huang's Model X-in the moments leading up to the crash.

Huang had set the vehicle's cruise control to 75 miles per hour and left Autopilot active for nearly 19 minutes before the crash, according to the new NTSB report.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Huang complained to his family earlier that his 2017 Tesla Model X had attempted to veer into the barrier while on Autopilot before.

"Tesla Autopilot does not prevent all accidents - such a standard would be impossible - but it makes them much less likely to occur", Tesla wrote in a March blog post.

Then, at four seconds before the collision, the Tesla was no longer trailing another auto, according to the report.

What caused the accident remains the heart of the investigation and the NTSB says the Autopilot system was engaged on four separate occasions during the 32-minute trip including continuously during the final 19 minutes prior to the collision.

The NTSB said in a preliminary report that driver Walter Huang, 38, had used Autopilot heavily that day.

Investigators said the Tesla slowed from 75 miles per hour to 65 miles per hour behind a slow-moving vehicle that struck the barrier at 71 miles per hour, which sheered off part of the auto.

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Tesla's Autopilot is a driver assistance system that handles some driving tasks and allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel. A spokeswoman referred to a company blog saying that a Tesla with Autopilot is far safer than vehicles without it.

NTSB spokesman Christopher O'Neil told the AP Thursday that, among other factors, investigators are trying to determine how the car's camera, radar and ultrasonic sensors were working and what they were tracking.

Tesla's system may have a problem spotting or stopping for stationary objects.

"The focus isn't Tesla's technology", he said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also investigating the case of a Model S driven by a 28-year-old woman that struck a stopped fire truck on a South Jordan, Utah, roadway on May 11. Four seconds before the crash it was no longer following the lead vehicle, the NTSB said. Drivers are expected to keep their hands on the wheel and engaged at all times when the feature is activated.

Federal investigators in May removed Tesla from the official investigation into the California crash after the automaker seemingly blamed the driver for the crash publicly.

The impact killed the Tesla's driver and severed the electric crossover SUV.

Previous to the impact, the Tesla was tracking the vehicle in front of it in the carpool at 65 miles-per-hour eight seconds before the crash. "It is the driver's responsibility to drive safely and remain in control of the vehicle at all times", it says.

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