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Tesla crash involving Southfield gallery owner shines spotlight on Autopilot system

July 08,2016 22:09

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a rollover Tesla crash involving a 77-year-old Southfield man on July 1, drawing more scrutiny to the company's Autopilot driver assist technology, Crain's Detroit Business reported.and more »



The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a rollover Tesla crash involving a 77-year-old Southfield man on July 1, drawing more scrutiny to the company’s Autopilot driver assist technology, Crain’s Detroit Business reported.
Albert Scaglione, owner of the Park West Gallery in Southfield, and his son-in-law Tim Yanke both survived the crash, which occurred about 107 miles east of Pittsburgh. During the incident, Scaglione’s 2016 Tesla Model X SUV reportedly struck a concrete median strip on a Pennsylvania Turnpike and rolled onto its roof, coming to rest in the middle of the roadway. The Tesla’s Autopilot self-driving system was reportedly engaged when the accident occurred, the driver told police.
NHTSA is now collecting information from Pennsylvania State Police, Tesla and the driver involved in the crash to determine whether or not the self-driving system was engaged at the time, the agency reported Wednesday.
“We have no data at this point to indicate that Autopilot was engaged or not engaged,” Tesla said in a statement. “This is consistent with the nature of the damage reported in the press, which can cause the antenna to fail.”

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The driver in Friday’s crash was reportedly injured and may face charges related to the incident, the report said.
There has not been a formal defect investigation ordered on the Tesla Autopilot feature. However the NHTSA did send a special team of investigators to look into a fatal crash in Florida that happened in May, which could indicate an issue of special interest to the regulator, according to Crain’s.
In the incident, a 40-year-old Ohio man was killed after his 2015 Model S drove under the trailer of an 18-wheel truck on a highway near Williston, Fla. According to Tesla, it was the first known fatality in more than 130 million miles of Autopilot driving.
Approximately 70,000 Teslas with Autopilot are currently on the roads despite still being in beta testing. Still, motorists operating vehicles with Autopilot should remain attentive, the company reported.
Read the full story at Crain’s Detroit Business.

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