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Tesla implicated in a fatal accident while the Autopilot was activated

A motorcyclist was killed early Sunday July 24 after a collision with a Tesla, in Draper, Utah, reports The Verge. The car, whose Autopilot was activated, would have struck the rear of the motorcycle. This is the latest accident involving Tesla’s driver assistance system. An investigation has been opened by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The tragedy happened just after 1 a.m. on a highway. The unidentified motorcyclist was traveling south when the Tesla approached, colliding with the rear of the motorcycle, knocking the motorcyclist to the ground, killing him instantly. The motorist, who remained at the scene, told local officials he had not seen the motorcyclist. The driver was using autopilot at the time of the crash, authorities said.

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This crash is the latest in a long list of special investigations by NHTSA. The agency specifically reviews incidents involving advanced driver assistance systems, such as Tesla’s Autopilot, and automated driving systems. As of July 26, there were 48 crashes on the agency’s list, 39 of which involved Teslas.

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NHTSA is also currently investigating 16 crashes in which Tesla owners using Autopilot collided with stationary emergency vehicles, resulting in 15 injuries and one death. Most of these incidents took place after dark, with the software ignoring scene control measures including warning lights, flares, cones, and an illuminated arrow board. The probe was recently upgraded to “technical analysis”, the last phase of an investigation before a possible recall. From July 20, 2021 through May 21, 2022, there were 273 crashes involving Teslas using Autopilot, according to NHTSA.

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