Regulators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are opening an investigation involving a fatal crash involving the Tesla Model Y. The accident, which took place on July 19, found the Tesla car colliding with a truck trailer in Virginia, fatally injuring its driver. The Car. These regulators believe the 57-year-old Tesla driver was relying on the company’s advanced driver assistance software at the time of the accident,
The Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office provided more details about the accident, saying the tractor-trailer attempted to turn onto a freeway from a truck stop when the Tesla hit the side and slid under the trailer. The Tesla driver was declared dead at the scene. As for the truck driver, authorities have issued a reckless driving summons.
The subpoena indicates that authorities blame the truck driver for the accident, but Tesla’s assistance program is supposed to explain errors caused by other people on the road, hence the NHTSA investigation. To that end, the safety regulator has opened up on collisions involving Tesla cars and their advanced assistance algorithms. All told, the agency has 23 suspected deaths since 2016.
In 2021, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Autonomous Driving announced in its letter that “Tesla is testing highly automated AV technology on public roads but with limited oversight or reporting requirements.”
Tesla’s proprietary Autopilot technology aims to steer, accelerate and brake within the vehicle’s lane, while the improved system aids lane changes on highways. Tesla says the system is not truly automated and requires active human supervision. The company has not previously responded to a request for comment Reuters Regarding this latest incident and the newly opened investigation.