According to a statement released South Jordan released Wednesday, Tesla technicians recovered data recorded by the vehicle and they found the driver had repeatedly engaged, canceled and re-engaged the car's Autosteer and Traffic Aware Cruise Control functions. She had previously told police that she had engaged the system and was looking at her phone to compare route maps when the accident occurred.
Vehicle company owner, Elon Musk said in a tweet Tuesday, "It's super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the ~40,000 people who died in United States auto accidents alone in past year get nearly no coverage".
According to the results shared by the organization, which is presently carrying out safety tests of the Model 3, the electric vehicle from Tesla Motors has achieved a 'superior rating for front crash prevention'. She then allegedly only placed her hands back on the wheel after being cued to do so by the automobile, both times removing them again after the alert went away.
"Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot doesn't make the vehicle impervious to all accidents", the statement said.
"About 1 minute and 22 seconds before the crash, she re-enabled Autosteer and Cruise Control, and then, within seconds, took her hands off the steering wheel again", the police report says. "She did not touch the steering wheel for the next 80 seconds until the crash happened; this is consistent with her admission that she was looking at her phone at the time".
Minutes later he added, "What's actually wonderful about this accident is that a Model S hit a fire truck at 60mph and the driver only broke an ankle".
The Autopilot system includes visual and audio warnings to drivers when they remove their hands from the wheel.
The Utah driver was issued a traffic citation for "failure to keep proper lookout" under South Jordan City municipal code. "Based upon witness information, the driver of the Tesla did not brake or take any action to avoid the collision", a statement from South Jordan Police said.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent a team to conduct its own investigation into the incident. After a fatal Tesla Model X crash on Highway 101 in Mountain View in March, Tesla reported that the driver of that auto had been warned repeatedly during the trip to put his hands on the wheel, and that his hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds before the collision.
The report appears to highlight a serious problem with the semi-autonomous-driving system the Palo Alto electric auto maker controversially chose to call "Autopilot": humans.
With those types of crashes, people often bring up the fact that there's a defect because the automatic emergency braking (AEB) system didn't prevent the crash, but it is not created to stop crashes in all conditions.
The NTSB said it has not opened an investigation into the Utah crash.