FILE - This Jan. 22, 2018, file still frame from video provided by KCBS-TV shows a Tesla Model S electric car that has crashed into a fire engine on Interstate 405 in Culver City, Calif. A government report says the driver of the Tesla that slammed into a firetruck was using the car’s Autopilot system when a vehicle in front of him suddenly changed lanes and he didn’t have time to react. The National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, that the driver never saw the parked firetruck and didn’t brake. (KCBS-TV via AP, File)

NTSB: Tesla Autopilot let driver rely too much on automation

September 04, 2019 - 12:31 pm

DETROIT (AP) — A government investigation has found that a design flaw in Tesla's Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system and driver inattention combined to cause a Model S electric car to slam into a firetruck parked along a California freeway.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the driver was overly reliant on the system and that Autopilot's design let him disengage from driving.

The agency released a brief report Wednesday that outlined the probable cause of the January 2018 crash on a highway in Culver City.

The findings raise questions about the effectiveness of the Autopilot system, which was engaged but failed to take action in the Culver City crash and three others in which drivers were killed since 2016.

No one was hurt in the Culver City crash involving a Model S Tesla.

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