Two men died in the crash in Texas during the weekend. But neither of them was found on the driver’s seat, says the police.
Police in Texas will serve search warrants on Tesla after the vehicle crash that killed the two men.
Near Houston on Saturday night, a Tesla 2019 Model S was being driven at high speed. Afterwards, it left the road, hit a tree and burst into flames, the police said.
The corpses of the two men were recovered inside the vehicle. Of the two, one on the front passenger seat and the other on the back seat. This prompted police to say that there was nobody on the drier seat at the time of the crash.
But a tweet by Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has insisted that the car’s autopilot was not engaged.
He said data logs retrieved so far show autopilot wasn’t allowed, and the car did not purchase full self-driving (FSD). Also, that standard autopilot needs lane lines to turn on, which the road did not have.
Harris County Constable Precinct 4, Mr Mark Herman, said this was the first officials had heard from the company. Telling the Reuters news agency, he said that he has already pulled the data out if he is tweeting that out. But somehow, he (Elon Musk) is yet to inform all that to the cops.
Mr Mark also added that he and his team are eagerly waiting for Mr Musk’s data.
Autopilot is Tesla’s partially-automated driving system, which can keep a car centred in its lane. Moreover, it can hold a distance from other vehicles, and if need be, can change its lane too.
Inspection from NHTSA
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is inspecting the crash. It said last month that it had opened 27 special inquiries regarding Tesla crashes.
Twenty-three of these are still running and are held to have included the use of autopilot.
The watchdog can regulate car makers and seek recalls for defective vehicles. It has so far been to control automated systems.
But last month, it said with a new administration in spot, they are reviewing regulations around self-ruling vehicles.
Tesla did not comment, but it has earlier said drivers should keep their hands on the steering wheel. Adding to that, they should also pay heed while using autopilot.