Tesla clashes with Feds over autopilot crash investigation

An Update on Last Week's Accident | Tesla

The role of Autopilot is central to the investigation into the March 23 accident in which Walter Huang, of San Mateo, was killed when his Tesla crashed into a barrier between Highway 101 and Highway 85, in Mountain View.

Tesla said on Wednesday that it withdrew from the NTSB agreement because it "requires that we not release information about Autopilot to the public, a requirement which we believe fundamentally affects public safety negatively".

Tesla is looking to start production of its Model Y SUV in the U.S.in November 2019 before setting up a setting up factory in China two years later, two inside sources told Reuters mid-April.

Consumer-safety advocates and autonomous-vehicle experts criticized Tesla Inc. for issuing another statement about the death of a customer that pinned the blame on driver inattentiveness.

As the investigation into the death of a Model X owner continues, Tesla is taking a familiar stance when it comes to where the fault lies in the collision with a concrete median: the driver. It's also refused to comment on how many alerts can be ignored before the system disengages, what version of Autopilot software was in Huang's Model X, or when the auto was built. Participation in the party system is a privilege, which allows the sharing of investigative information with all parties that agree to the terms of the party agreement during the early fact-gathering phase of an investigation. The safety board said then that the company and union "took actions prejudicial to the investigation by issuing comments and analysing findings before the NTSB had met to determine a cause". "We made a decision to revoke Tesla's party status and informed Mr. Musk in a phone call last evening and via letter today". Autopilot had warned the driver with both visual and audible notifications that he was to retake the wheel, Tesla said, having sifted through the car's logs from the time of the crash.

The stakes for Tesla's bid to defend Autopilot are significant.

"The agency is in contact with local investigators, consistent with NHTSA's vigilant oversight and authority over the safety of all motor vehicles and equipment", an NHTSA spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch.

The crash and subsequent fire spurred the investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). However, Tesla is pushing back strong, and has released an updated statement regarding the accident. She recognized the location and the blue Model X. The automaker noted that Tesla vehicles with Autopilot engaged had driven through the same area hundreds of times before without incident.

The company confirmed one week later that Huang was using Autopilot during the crash, and that the data recorded showed that his hands were not detected on the wheel in the six seconds before the impact. Even if it means getting booted from a government investigation into its own vehicle.

In the space of a week, Tesla and the National Transportation Safety Board have gone from cooperating on the investigation of last month's fatal Tesla crash to a almost complete war.

"Tesla, which was overtaken by Apple as the largest USA equity short recently, is back on top of the league tables, a position it has held since March 2016", wrote Ihor Dusaniwsky, head of research at S3 Partners, as quoted by CNBC.

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