According to Tesla boss Elon Musk, the autopilot was not switched on in the fatal accident with a suspected self-driving Tesla in the US.
The data currently available shows that the autopilot was not activated; he wrote on the night from Monday to Tuesday on Twitter. Musk also pointed out that there were no lane markings on the road, preventing the standard version of the self-steering system from being activated.
The company is thus responding to the incident for the first time. On Monday, it became known that two people were killed in an accident with a suspected self-driving car of the Tesla brand in the American state of Texas.
A police spokesperson subsequently stated that initial findings indicated that one victim had taken a seat in the front passenger seat while the other was in the back of the car when the car suddenly deviated from the road on a bend and crashed into a tree. The car burned out completely.
It remains a guess as to the cause of the accident, as the police are ‘almost 99.9 percent certain’ that no one was driving at the time of the accident. The case is being further investigated by, among others, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) traffic service.
The crash immediately sparked new discussion about the safety of Tesla’s so-called autopilot function. In the past, videos often surfaced on the internet, showing that a Tesla driver let go of their wheel for a long time or are simply not behind the wheel. The company itself has regularly emphasized that someone still needs to be with their hands on the wheel to intervene when necessary.