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Autopilot likely not engaged in Texas Tesla crash, NTSB report says


(NEW YORK) — The Tesla Model S involved in a fatal crash in Texas last month was likely not in autopilot mode, according to a preliminary report released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The agency also said the owner was initially in the driver’s seat.

Home surveillance footage shows the owner of the 2019 Tesla getting into the driver’s seat and his passenger getting into the front passenger seat before crashing 550 feet down the road. Local officials previously said there was “no indication that that anyone was in the driver’s seat” and the two victims were found in the front passenger and back seat of the vehicle.

The NTSB said the car was equipped with autopilot, but in order for the feature to work, both traffic-aware cruise control and autosteer systems must be engaged. The NTSB conducted a test at the crash site and found the autosteer system was not available on that part of the road.

The Tesla Model S is equipped with onboard data storage system, but investigators said it was destroyed in the fiery wreck.

Firefighters worked for four hours and used more than 30,000 gallons of water trying to drown the flames, officials said at the time of the incident.

The NTSB has not yet released the probable cause of the accident.

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