Tesla 'Autopilot crash' kills two

Impact resulted in a fireball that took authorities four hours to put out

Tesla Model 3 Crash Normal Jpg

Two people driving a 2019 Tesla Model S have died in a crash in Texas over the weekend, with local authorities suspecting the vehicle was on 'Autopilot' at the time.

As KRPC 2 Click2Houston first reported, the Tesla failed to make a turn at an intersection, went off the road, and hit a tree at speed. 

Authorities said that one person was located in the front passenger seat, while the other was found in the rear – suggesting neither occupant was actually driving the car at the time of the crash, although this hasn't yet been confirmed.

The impact of the collision was so severe the electric vehicle burst into flames, and it took emergency services over four hours to get the blaze under control.

Firefighters went through 32,000 gallons of water and even attempted to contact Tesla directly for any information that could assist them with putting out the flames. 

America’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reportedly investigated over 20 car accidents involving Tesla’s Autopilot driving function, however, this looks to be the first instance of its kind.

The news comes just weeks after WhichCar reported another high-speed crash in America that was allegedly caused by the EV maker’s Autopilot function, which involved a Model 3 or Model Y slamming into a stationary police highway patrol car. 

Tesla has also come under fire recently due to the naming of its most advanced autonomous driving technology – Full Self-Driving Beta (FSD) – which, despite the name, isn’t fully autonomous at all.  

This became apparent when the automaker’s lawyers sent a letter directly to the Californian Department of Motor Vehicles' head of Autonomous Vehicles, stating that: “Currently, neither Autopilot nor FSD Capability is an autonomous system, and currently no comprising feature, whether singularly or collectively, is autonomous or makes our vehicles autonomous."

It is not known whether the Model S involved in this latest crash was installed with the new Full Self-Driving Beta technology.

WhichCar has contacted Tesla for comment about the crash but has yet to receive a response.

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