Elon Musk says Autopilot was not enabled in Tesla crash in Texas; slams Wall Street Journal for sloppy reporting | Tech News | Startups News

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The deadly crash of a Tesla Model S that killed two drivers has dominated the news cycle in the last 24 hours. The accident took place over the weekend near Houston, Texas. According to local authorities, the Tesla car slammed into a tree near Hammock Dunes Place in the Houston area, killing the two occupants.

Authorities said that “the vehicle failed to negotiate a cul-de-sac turn, ran off the road and hit the tree.” Of the two occupants, one was seated in the passenger seat of the front of the car while the other was seated in the passenger seat of the back of the car.

Immediately after the news broke and without any conclusive evidence from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Wall Street Journal (WSJ) blamed the accident on Tesla AutoPilot System. WSJ wrote: “Fatal Tesla Crash in Texas Believed to Be Driverless.”

As it turned out, the NTSB said this evening that the investigation into the accident is still ongoing and no conclusion has been reached. In addition, NBC News also reported today that it is “trying to determine whether the vehicle may have been in automatic driving mode due to the victims’ seating, but that information is not available yet.”


Meanwhile, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that Autopilot was not enabled during the crash. In a tweet this evening, citing other events in the accident that didn’t add up, Musk denied that Tesla’s automated driving systems were involved in a fatal crash in Spring, Texas. Musk also added that the card involved in the accident is not equipped with a full self-driving (FSD) feature.

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“Data logs recovered so far show Autopilot was not enabled & this car did not purchase FSD. Moreover, standard Autopilot would require lane lines to turn on, which this street did not have,” Musk tweeted.

In response to WSJ tweet, Ahmad A Dalhat, a Twitter user, questioned the accuracy of the WSJ article saying:

“This doesn’t make sense.There are safety measures in place with the autopilot Seat is weighted to make sure there is a driver ,hands must be on steering wheel every 10 seconds or it disengages. Autopilot doesn’t go over the speed limits oover limit isi mpossible… Research pls.”

In response to Ahmad A Dalhat’s tweet, Musk wrote:

Your research as a private individual is better than professionals @WSJ! Data logs recovered so far show Autopilot was not enabled & this car did not purchase FSD. Moreover, standard Autopilot would require lane lines to turn on, which this street did not have.”

In the meantime, there are still a lot of questions that remain unanswered considering that Tesla Autopilot and FSD are not capable of controlling electric vehicles in all normal driving circumstances. Besides, Tesla’s owner’s manuals caution drivers to only use them with “active supervision.”

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