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US agencies investigating fatal Tesla Model 3 crash: Report

San Francisco, March 4 (IANS) US federal agencies are looking into the circumstances that led to a fatal collision involving Tesla vehicles, the media reported.

The agencies, namely Washington-headquartered National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have confirmed that they were investigating a collision between a Tesla Model 3 and a semi truck in Delray Beach, Florida on Friday in which 50-year-old Jeremy Beren Banner was killed.

“The agencies are likely to investigate whether Banner was using his car’s Autopilot semiautonomous driving system.

Tesla says it’s adding ‘full self-driving capability’ to its cars, but critics say the company and its rivals aren’t being clear about what their vehicles can and can’t do. “This can lead people to think the cars can fully drive themselves, when they actually cannot,” the Business Insider reported on Monday.

A preliminary report by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office said a semi truck was making a left turn onto SR 7 when the Model 3 car crashed into it from the side.

The vehicle passed under the trailer, thus, shearing off the top of the vehicle and killing the driver on the spot.

“The dangers of the limitations of these systems are not clearly explained to owners,” Shaun Kildare, Director of Research Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety was quoted as saying by the Insider.

The NHTSA can seek recalls of cars, fine companies or make new regulations, which could pose problems for Tesla or for other companies working on driverless vehicles.

Meanwhile, Tesla has said in a statement that it was “deeply saddened” about the collision and was “reaching out” to the authorities to cooperate.

Friday’s accident comes almost two years after the NTSB said the design limitations of the Autopilot system played a major role in the 2016 crash that killed Tesla driver Joshua Brown in Florida.




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