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Man killed in Tesla crash previously complained about self-driving malfunction

4 months 4 weeks 1 day ago Thursday, February 13 2020 Feb 13, 2020 February 13, 2020 11:12 AM February 13, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ
Image via ABC KGO-TV

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA- Investigators released an additional 500 pages of information about the fatal Tesla crash that occurred March of 2018.

Apple engineer Walter Huang died on his way to work after his Tesla's autopilot failed, plummeting him into the barriers on side of the interstate. In the newly released documents, Huang had previously complained about the system aiming him toward those same barriers, the National Transportation Safety Board says.

Huang was driving his Model-S south on U.S. 101 in Mountain View when the sensors glitched near on-going construction at the junction with California Highway 85. 

The vehicle slammed into an attenuator, causing the car to crash and catch fire, killing Huang. 

Dr. Fred Barez, a San Jose State University mechanical engineer, explains the vehicle is meant to sense the lanes on right and left, but if they cannot the secondary sensors would be put in use. 

Tesla explains that the "driver-assist" feature is not autonomous and the driver should always pay attention and be ready to take control.

Investigators are also looking into a Florida crash that killed Jeremy Banner. His Tesla 3 sensors, also operating an “autopilot,” failed to detect a white truck that turned in front of the vehicle. The car slammed into the truck killing Banner. Since this incident, Tesla has installed a radar to detect an object regardless of the color.

Experts say the new documents do not provide safety recommendations or findings, but it could lay down the groundwork for greater federal oversight of self-driving vehicles.

The NTSB will release its findings for the cause of the Mountain View crash Feb. 25, and make safety recommendations.

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