The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released detailed investigation documents into the death of Tesla owner David Huang, saying three causes could have caused the crash,media reported. On March 23, 2018, when the Model X driven by Huang Weilun approached the left exit of U.S. Highway 101, The Tesla Driver Assistance System Autopilot apparently confused the lane line. Seconds later, it hit the concrete lane fence at 110km/h and Huang Weilun was taken to hospital where he died.
Pictured: Scenes after a fatal car crash on the Model X driven by Huang Weilun
The NTSB documents give three possible causes of car crashes. First, Tesla software fails. The documents confirm Huang Weilun’s family’s claim that Huang had experienced this particular software failure at this particular location several times before the fatal crash. He had complained to family and friends about the problem, but the NTSB could not confirm whether he had reported the same problem to Tesla.
Second, Huang Weilun himself is not focused. Forensic data showed that Mr Huang may not have noticed the road in the last few seconds before the crash because he had a habit of playing games in his car while driving to work. Logs from Apple’s iPhone show that in the week of the crash, Mr. Huang started the game program during his commute every morning. However, the logs did not provide enough information to indicate whether he was still playing the game in the last few seconds before his death.
The documents also point to a third possible factor in Huang’s death, the government agency that designed and maintained Highway 101. In the years leading up to the crash, there had been a number of crashes on the road, including a fatal one in 2015. One reason for the crash was that the agencies were too slow to replace the Crash Attenuator.
The collision deceleration device is an accordion-like metal device designed to cushion the impact of a car. Unfortunately, two weeks before the Huang Weilun crash, there was another crash there, the relevant agencies have not had time to replace the crash deceleration device, which reduced Huang Weilun’s chances of survival in the crash.
The NTSB board is scheduled to hold a hearing next week on The Huang’s crash. At that time, the agency is expected to formally determine the cause of the crash, and make safety recommendations. According to documents released so far, it appears that both Tesla and California officials are also responsible.