Driver was using automated systems at time of fatal Tesla crash
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released new information about its ongoing investigation into a fatal Tesla-truck collision in Florida in 2016 – although it has yet to determine the cause.
How it happened
The accident occurred on May 7, when a 2015 Tesla Model S 70D, traveling eastbound on US Highway 27A west of Williston, Florida, struck and passed beneath a refrigerated semitrailer powered by a 2014 Freightliner Cascadia truck-tractor. At the time of the collision, the truck was making a left turn from westbound US-27A across the two eastbound travel lanes. The impact with the right side of the semitrailer sheared off the roof of the Tesla. The driver – who was the sole occupant of the Tesla -- died in the crash; the commercial truck driver was not injured.
What is known so far
System performance data downloaded from the Tesla revealed that the driver was operating the car using automated vehicle control systems: Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer lane‑keeping systems.
The docket includes reports that cover various aspects of the investigation, including highway design, vehicle performance, human performance, and motor carrier factors. The crash reconstruction report, also included in the docket, provides a description of the crash sequence. The docket also includes interview transcripts and summaries, photographs, and other investigative material.
The docket contains only factual information collected by NTSB investigators; it does not provide analysis, findings, recommendations, or probable cause determinations. No conclusions about how or why the crash occurred should be drawn from the docket. Analysis, findings, recommendations, and probable cause determinations related to the crash will be issued by the Board at a later date.
The NTSB released the preliminary report for this crash on July 26, 2016.
The docket material is available at: https://go.usa.gov/xNvaE
Additional material may be added to the docket as it becomes available.