Tesla's Autopilot system has come under scrutiny recently, after a driver using the system was killed when his Model S hit a white tractor-trailer on a Florida highway. More details have emerged from the accident, with investigators revealing the car was traveling 9 mph over the posted limit at the time of impact.
The accident occurred on May 7th, when a tractor-trailer pulled across US Highway 27A in Florida. According to a report from the National Transportation Safety Board, performance data from the Model S says it was traveling at 74 mph (119 km/h) at the point of impact, 9 mph (14 km/h) above the 65 mph (105 km/h) posted limit.
In a release put out by Tesla, the company said the combination of a bright sky and white trailer might have made the truck difficult to see, potentially contributing to the accident.
After slamming into the side of the truck, the car rolled around 300 ft (91 m) before hitting a telephone pole. Having broken the pole, it then carried on another 50 ft (15 m) before coming to rest in someone's front yard.
In a statement released in June, Tesla was at pains to mention the fact Autopilot is still a public beta. Since then Elon Musk has clarified, using his Master Plan: Part Deux to reassure the public every iteration of the system is thoroughly tested in-house, but the beta label is used to minimize complacency among drivers.
The investigation into Joshua Brown's death is ongoing, with Tesla cooperating with the NHTSA and NTSB to identify who was at fault.
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