At 7 seconds prior to the crash, the Tesla began a left steering movement while following a lead vehicle. The auto gave Huang two visual alerts and one auditory warning to place his hands on the steering wheel during the trip, though those alerts were made more than 15 minutes before the crash.
Bystanders managed to get the driver out of the vehicle before it was engulfed in flames, and he was taken to hospital where he died from his injuries.
The NTSB findings indicate that Autopilot steered the vehicle towards the crash attenuator and accelerated.
Investigators said that the Model X didn't attempt to brake or steer clear of the crash. A spokeswoman referred to a company blog saying that a Tesla with Autopilot is far safer than vehicles without it. Preliminary reports indicated the Model S she was traveling in may have sped up-similar to Huang's Model X-in the moments leading up to the crash.
Walter Huang, a 38-year-old engineer who worked at Apple Inc., died in Mountain View, California, in the March 23 crash when his Model X struck the barrier as he was using the driver-assistance system known as Autopilot.
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Federal investigators found that the Model X P100D's driver, Apple engineer Walter Huang, had set Autopilot to 75 miles per hour for almost 19 minutes prior to the impact while traveling on U.S. Highway 101 approaching State Highway 85.
Then, seven seconds before the crash, the Tesla began drifting left to align with the lead auto as it headed into a left-side exit.
In January, a Tesla Model S sedan that may have been using Autopilot hit a parked firetruck on Interstate 405 near Los Angeles. Musk has been highly critical of media reports on Autopilot-related crashes. The Tesla driver suffered fatal injuries while the driver of the Mazda suffered minor injuries and the driver of the Audi was not injured.
"Tesla Autopilot does not prevent all accidents - such a standard would be impossible - but it makes them much less likely to occur", the company wrote in the post.
The Tesla collided with a so-called crash attenuator, a device covering the concrete barrier that's created to absorb a vehicle impact to lower risks of damage and injuries. "It is the driver's responsibility to drive safely and remain in control of the vehicle at all times", it says. The NTSB's preliminary report provided details about the circumstances leading up the accident, as well as observations about the all-electric SUV's battery pack five days after the crash.