The 2018 Tesla Model 3 involved in the fatal Florida accident. (Picture Courtesy: National Transportation Safety Board)
- Tesla's Autopilot system enables the car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically within its lane.
- The National Transportation Safety Board is gathering more information on the operation of Tesla's Autopilot system.
- The all-electric Tesla Model 3 is available in three trims -- Performance, Long Range AWD and Standard Plus.
Tesla's Autopilot system was active at the time of the fatal crash involving Model 3 in Florida in March and did not execute evasive manoeuvres, a preliminary report released by the US National Transportation Safety Board on May 16 has said.
On March 1, 2019, a 2018 Tesla Model 3 rammed into a truck-tractor semitrailer in Delray Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida. While the Tesla driver, 50-year-old Jeremy Beren Banner, lost his life in the accident, the 45-year-old male driving the semitrailer escaped unhurt.
"The Tesla struck the left side of the semitrailer. The roof of the Tesla was sheared off as the vehicle underrode the semitrailer and continued south. While the Tesla driver, 50-year-old Jeremy Beren Banner, lost his life in the accident, the 45-year-old male semitrailer driver escaped unhurt.
The all-electric Tesla Model 3 is available in three trims -- Performance, Long Range AWD and Standard Plus. Tesla Model 3 Performance has a long range battery, with a claimed range of 310 miles. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and has a top speed of 162 mph. The Performance trim comes in a dual motor all-wheel drive. Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD has a range of 310 miles, the company claims. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, with a top speed 145 mph. The Long Range AWD trim also gets a dual motor. Tesla Model 3 Standard Plus has a range of 240 miles. It can reach 60 mph from a static position in 5.3 seconds and has a top speed of 140 mph. The Standard Plus trim comes with a rear-wheel drive. While Performance and Long Range AWD variants get premium interiors, Standard Plus comes with partial premium interiors.
"Preliminary data from the vehicle show that the Tesla's Autopilot system -- an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) that provides both longitudinal and lateral control over vehicle motion -- was active at the time of the crash," the report said.
Tesla's Autopilot system enables the car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically within its lane. Every new Model 3 comes standard with hardware capable of providing Autopilot features.
"The driver engaged the Autopilot about 10 seconds before the collision. From less than 8 seconds before the crash to the time of impact, the vehicle did not detect the driver's hands on the steering wheel. Preliminary vehicle data show that Tesla was travelling about 68 mph when it struck the semitrailer. Neither the preliminary data nor the videos indicate that the driver or the ADAS executed evasive manoeuvres," the report added.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is gathering more information on the operation of Tesla's ADAS and the Tesla driver's actions leading up to the crash.
"All aspects of the crash remain under investigation as the NTSB determines the probable cause, with the intent of issuing safety recommendations to prevent similar crashes. The NTSB is working in partnership with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office during the investigation," the report said.
An independent agency, the National Transportation Safety Board investigates every civil aviation accident in the United States and also major railroad, highway, marine and pipeline accidents.