The National Transportation Safety Board has determined that a Tesla Model 3 sedan’s self-driving Autopilot mode was active at the time of a March 1 crash in which the car struck the side of a tractor-trailer, shearing off the top of the car and killing the driver.
In a preliminary report issued May 16, NTSB says the Tesla driver activated the Autopilot system approximately 10 seconds before the car collided with the 2019 International tractor-trailer.
The report adds that the vehicle did not detect the driver’s hands on the wheel from less than eight seconds before the crash to the time of impact.
The crash occurred on U.S. 441 (State Road 7) in Delray Beach, Florida. The truck was attempting to make a left turn out of Pero Farms across the southbound lanes of the highway to go north. The Tesla was traveling southbound when it hit the truck. NTSB says the posted speed limit in the area of the crash is 55 mph.
Investigators found that the Tesla was traveling at approximately 68 mph at the time of impact, and according to the report, neither preliminary data nor surveillance videos indicate the driver or the Autopilot system executed evasive maneuvers before the crash.
NTSB is continuing to investigate the crash and gather information on the Tesla’s Autopilot system and the driver’s actions leading up o the crash, as well as the actions of the truck driver, highway factors and more.