Authorities remove Tesla from fatal Autopilot crash investigation

Authorities remove Tesla from fatal Autopilot crash investigation

Authorities remove Tesla from fatal Autopilot crash investigation

But the NTSB announced the "removal of Tesla", after the company disclosed information the agency said could taint the public understanding of what happened, in violation of the agreement.

We'll update this story when the NTSB posts its press release about Tesla's departure.

"Participation in the party system is a privilege", the NTSB wrote, which allows the sharing of investigative information with all parties that agree to the terms of the party agreement.

"We believe in transparency, so an agreement that prevents public release of information for over a year is unacceptable", the statement read in part. Tesla said that "even though we won't be a formal party, we will continue to provide technical assistance to the NTSB".

The National Transportation Safety Board says it has kicked Tesla off its investigation into a deadly crash in Mountain View last month.

The dispute centers on the investigation of March 23 crash in which Tesla owner Walter Huang, 38, was killed when his 2017 Model X, running in semi-automated "Autopilot" mode, smashed into a concrete median on USA 101 near Mountain View, California. The company isn't technically wrong here; Autopilot does indeed rattle off both audio and visual notifications when a driver removes their hands from the wheel. "We made a decision to revoke Tesla's party status and informed Mr. Musk in a phone call last evening and via letter today".

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In addition to two previous statements on the March 23 collision, Tesla issued a statement on Tuesday saying, "according to the family, Mr. Huang was well aware that Autopilot was not ideal and, specifically, he told them it was not reliable in that exact location [of the collision], yet he nonetheless engaged Autopilot" there. The company said the "only" explanation for the crash was "if Mr. Huang was not paying attention to the road, despite the vehicle providing multiple warnings to do so". NTSB told Tesla on Wednesday it was being removed from the investigation, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing an unnamed source.

A fatal March crash involving a Tesla Model S in Mountain View, California.

The family's lawyer believes that the company is doubling down on putting the blame on Huang in order to distract from their concerns about his vehicle's Autopilot. But the federal agency said it had took the "rare" action of ousting Tesla from the probe. For example, Uber is working with the NTSB to investigate the cause of last month's fatal self-driving auto crash in Tempe, Arizona. For Tesla, there is one fatality, including known pedestrian fatalities, every 320 million miles in vehicles equipped with Autopilot hardware.

The company showed remorse, but also chose, much like in the current situation, to defend its technology.

There was some back and forth between Tesla and the NTSB on why the electric vehicle maker was removed from the investigation and whether it had chosen to leave or not.

In the space of a week, Tesla and the National Transportation Safety Board have gone from cooperating on the investigation of last month's fatal Tesla crash to a almost complete war. "The combined effects of human error and the lack of sufficient system controls resulted in a fatal collision that should not have happened", NTSB chief Robert Sumwalt said at the time.

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