Tesla Model X Accelerated Toward Barrier Before Fatal Crash

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

One crash in particular in Mountain View, California, involving a Model X on a well-mapped stretch of road gave some cause for concern, enough that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) launched an investigation into it, an investigation from which Tesla was eventually excluded.

The aftermath of the Tesla Model X's fatal crash. It hit the divider at that speed without braking or making any evasive steering maneuvers, according to the NTSB report. The vehicle did not detect the driver's hands on the steering wheel in the six seconds before the crash.

Tesla declined to comment on the NTSB report, but said in March that the driver had not braked or taken actions to avoid the crash in the final seconds before the crash. Notably, the car's Autopilot feature was engaged at the time of the crash.

Eight seconds before the crash, the SUV was following a vehicle and traveling about 65 miles per hour.

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During the 60 seconds prior to the crash, the driver's hands were detected on the steering wheel on three separate occasions, for a total of 34 seconds; for the last 6 seconds prior to the crash, the vehicle did not detect the driver's hands on the steering wheel.

The crash attenuator was already severely damaged from a prior traffic incident, and this likely increased the amount of damage suffered by the Tesla and by its driver, who later succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital. "The Tesla was no longer following a lead vehicle four seconds before the crash", the report notes. The San Mateo Fire Department extinguished the fire. At this point, the NTSB has yet to determine a probable cause of the crash and is continuing to investigate the accident. The Tesla Model Y will offer a competitive, lower-cost alternative to the Model X, echoing the structure of the manufacturer's sedan line, with the Model 3 and the Model S. The addition of a Model Y also makes the vehicle names in Tesla's range spell "S3XY". The electric auto company and the safety board eventually parted ways, however, due to Tesla's decision to release crash data before the NTSB's investigation was complete.

The accident happened in the southbound lanes of Highway 101 at Highway 85 when the Tesla Model X crashed into the barrier.

According to a Tesla, it opted to withdraw from its party agreement with the NTSB since collaboration with the safety board prevents the public release of safety information until the investigation was finished.

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