Tesla may be most famous for its EVs, but it’s also renowned for Autopilot, which is its semi-autonomous self-driving feature. That being said, Autopilot is a controversial feature right now because the NHTSA is investigating it and the accidents where Autopilot was engaged. That being said, Tesla’s Autopilot was found to not be at fault in one fatal accident in Florida.
A look at the NHTSA’s investigation into Tesla Autopilot
Autopilot has been under a lot of scrutiny lately, and for many reasons. There have been a few Autopilot-related accidents, and some of them have been fatal. Some drivers think that Autopilot is a true self-driving feature when it’s not. As such, they have gotten into accidents because they assumed that Autopilot would protect them. However, the NHTSA’s investigation isn’t about that necessarily.
The NHTSA is investigating is an apparent trend where parked first responder vehicles are getting hit by a Tesla on Autopilot. At the time that the NHTSA opened its investigation, there were 11 documented cases of that happening. However, shortly after the investigation started, another incident occurred.
That said, while the NHTSA is only investigating those incidents, there still have been many other Autopilot-related incidents. For example, there seems to be a road in Yosemite National Park that messes with Autopilot. But, since those incidents don’t involve Teslas hitting parked first responder vehicles, the NHTSA isn’t including them in its investigation.
A deadly crash in Florida, but Autopilot wasn’t involved
Another recent incident involved a Tesla flying through a Florida home. But, according to Business Insider, this accident did not involve Autopilot at all. Autopilot was not engaged at the time of the accident. As such, Autopilot probably can’t be blamed for it. Furthermore, since the Model S hit a home instead of a first responder vehicle, the NHTSA will not be including it in its investigation.
Business Insider said that the crash happened because the Tesla sped through a stop sign. The Model S Plaid, still going at high speed, then hit the curb, which caused it to go airborne. The Tesla traveled some distance, broke through a fence, and then it hit the Florida home. It tore a hole through the front of the house, the roof, and the back of the house. Unfortunately, however, there were people in the home at the time of the crash.
The aftermath of this fatal crash
Although the NHTSA is unlikely to investigate this deadly accident, the police are investigating it. There were four people in the Tesla at the time of the crash, and a family of five were in the home at the time. Business Insider said that two people were killed, one in the car and one in the house. Three other people were seriously injured from this accident.
A 69-year-old grandma and her dog were killed in the home, while a 43-year-old passenger was killed in the car. On top of that, the 43-year-old passenger was the owner of the Tesla, according to WFLA. Due to the destruction of the home, the family is staying at a hotel for the time being. Furthermore, the driver of the car, a 43-year-old man, survived the accident, and he is recovering from his injuries. Charges are currently pending in his case.
Interestingly, not that long after this accident, another fatal accident involving a Tesla happened elsewhere in Florida. This accident involved a Tesla Model 3 hitting a tree and killing its two passengers. This particular accident also won’t be investigated by the NHTSA, but the NTSB will be looking into it.