The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a final verdict in two of the most high-profile cases following a fatal accident involving Tesla’s Autopilot system,media CNET reported. The NTSB released its final report of two Autopilot-related crashes on Thursday. The first was a fatal Car Accident on model X in California that sparked widespread concern, and the driver was an Apple engineer. The second case involved a Tesla Model 3 and a driver in Florida. Both drivers were killed in the crash.
In the California incident, the NTSB announced that the cause of the accident was the driver’s own fault and over-reliance on technology in the crash. After reviewing all the evidence, the NTSB said: “The driver lacks avoidance and there is data showing that his hand was not detected at the steering wheel, which is consistent with a person being distracted by a portable electronic device.” “
The data showed that the driver was playing a mobile phone game at the time of the crash. The Autopilot system did not raise any alarms and the driver had never tried any manual input before the crash.
In the Florida crash, the agency formally placed the blame on the half-trailer truck driver who didn’t stop. The Model 3 hit the truck that blocked all lanes. The NTSB also said drivers relied too heavily on Autopilot when Tesla said the system was not designed for cross traffic or high-speed braking.
Although the NTSB eventually identified drivers as a major factor in these incidents, the agency also noted that Tesla’s Autopilot technology was also a major factor in the two fatal accidents. Specifically, drivers believe they can trust the system to accomplish tasks beyond their design capabilities. But the agency also noted that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) lacks regulations on how to integrate these Part 2 automation systems into vehicles. The NTSB said rules to increase partial automation of vehicles would save lives.