WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mentioned on Friday it should open a particular investigation into a Florida crash on Wednesday that killed a 66-year-old Tesla driver and a 67-year-old passenger.
A 2015 Tesla rear-ended a parked tractor-trailer within the Gainesville space at a relaxation space off Interstate 75, the Florida Highway Patrol mentioned. Both individuals within the Tesla, who had been from Lompoc, California, had been pronounced lifeless on the scene. A patrol spokesman mentioned it was unclear if Autopilot was in use.
On Thursday, NHTSA confirmed it had opened a particular investigation into a fatal pedestrian crash in California involving a 2018 Tesla Model 3 during which a sophisticated driver help system was suspected of getting been in use.
NHTSA has beforehand opened 36 particular crash investigations – together with the California crash – involving Tesla Inc autos during which superior driver help methods like Autopilot had been suspected of getting used since 2016.
A complete of 17 crash deaths have been reported in these Tesla investigations, together with the Florida crash.
NHTSA sometimes opens greater than 100 particular crash investigations yearly into rising applied sciences and different potential auto issues of safety which have, as an illustration, beforehand helped to develop security guidelines on air baggage.
Tesla, which has disbanded its press workplace, didn’t reply to a request for remark.
The Florida crash bears similarities to a sequence of crashes beneath investigation by NHTSA.
In June, NHTSA upgraded its defect probe into 830,000 Tesla autos with Autopilot, a required step earlier than it might search a recall.
NHTSA opened a preliminary analysis to assess the efficiency of the system in 765,000 autos after a few dozen crashes during which Tesla autos struck stopped emergency autos – and mentioned final month it had recognized six further crashes.
NHTSA Administrator Steven Cliff instructed Reuters on Wednesday he needs to full the Tesla Autopilot investigation “as shortly as we probably can however I additionally need to get it proper. There’s lots of info that we want to comb by means of.”
(Reporting by David Shepardson in WashingtonEditing by Chris Reese and Matthew Lewis)