Tesla crash in Texas: group says driver was “probably” behind the wheel

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Tesla defended himself Monday after a fatal accident in Texas, assuring that it was “probable” that a person was indeed behind the wheel at the time of the collision and now that his driver assistance software was not engaged .

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This accident had shone the spotlight on the driving assistance systems that the group offers, the local police having ensured that according to the first elements of the investigation, there was apparently no driver when the vehicle left. crashed into a tree in Spring, a suburb of Houston, April 17.

Tesla is cooperating with the various ongoing investigations into the event, assured a specialist in the engineering of the group, Lars Moravy, during a conference call Monday.

It was “found that the steering wheel was deformed, implying the probability that someone was in the driver’s seat at the time of the collision, and all the seat belts were found after the accident not hung”, he said. -he declares.

Elon Musk for his part repeated, as he had already said in a tweet last Monday, that the Autopilot software was not in question.

The automatic steering function “was not and could not be engaged in these road conditions”, also noted Mr. Moravy.

However, it has not yet been possible to recover the data from the car at the time of impact, collected on a computer card, he stressed. “But the local authorities are working on it and we are awaiting their report. “

According to Harris County Police official Mark Herman, authorities found only two victims, one in the passenger seat and the other in the back seat.

The US Highway Safety Agency, NHTSA, and the US National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) have started their investigations.

The circumstances of the accident sparked many reactions on social networks, raising questions about the capabilities of the driver assistance software developed by Tesla.

On its website, the manufacturer warns that its systems do not make the vehicle autonomous and that the active supervision of a driver remains necessary.