When it comes to the Tesla Model S crash that resulted in the death of former U.S. Navy SEAL Joshua Brown, Tesla has announced that their Autopilot is absolutely not to blame. Instead, the company said it is currently considering two scenarios that could explain the events that led up to such a tragedy.
First, Tesla said it is possible the crash was in some ways, the result of a brake failure. The electric car maker explained to members of the Senate Commerce Committee staff that there seemed to be a problem with the car’s automatic braking system. Tesla Motors told investigators that the car’s crash prevention system failed at the time of incident, according to a Senate staff member.
According to a report by The New York Times, Tesla claimed that its Autopilot system works separately from its automatic braking system. The latter involves the car’s adaptive cruise control, automatic steering, and a host of other features supposed to help Tesla drivers avoid any accidents. The company reportedly explained to the committee staff that braking features are “separate and distinct” from Autopilot.
According to a report from Reuters, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board confirmed that Brown had engaged the Autosteer and Traffic Aware Cruise Control features in his car at the time of the crash. His Model S was said to have been traveling 74 miles per hour in a 65 mph zone.
At the same time, Tesla said it is trying to determine if the car’s radar and camera systems failed to detect the tractor-trailer Brown’s car crashed into. It is possible that the system mistook the vehicle for a road sign or overpass.
Despite the death that occurred while the Tesla Autopilot was engaged, Tesla is said to be against any action that would hamper introducing automated driving technology to the public. The automaker reportedly expressed the view that although deaths may occur, the benefits still outweighs the risk.
Also read: Tesla Announces Autopilot Crash Fatality