Non-fatal crash on Pennsylvania Turnpike left electric SUV upside down in the road
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a Tesla Model X crash that took place on the Pennsylvania Turnpike on July 1.
The Pennsylvania state police disclosed that the Model X hit a turnpike guardrail and then veered across several lanes of traffic, and came to rest on its roof in the middle of the road. Report say that the driver and passenger of the Tesla were injured in the crash.
The NHTSA is seeking to determine whether the Model X’s semi-autonomous Autopilot mode was engaged at the time.
Tesla has released a short statement
Tesla has released a short statement saying that the company has “no reason to believe that Autopilot had anything to do with this accident,” ,in report is quoting a police officer as having been told by the driver that Autopilot was engaged. Tesla indicates that it received a report of the airbags having deployed when the crash happened, but does not have information on the state of other systems at the time of the crash.
The crash happened a day after Tesla released details of a fatal crash involving the Model S sedan that took place in Florida in May of this year in which the Autopilot system was engaged. In that crash, the Autopilot system is believed to have failed to react to a tractor trailer crossing the road perpendicular to the traveling sedan, due to the system mistaking the trailer for the horizon. In the Florida crash the Model S hit the side of the trailer, ripping its roof off, and continued to travel for some distance before coming to rest in a ditch. The driver, Joshua Brown, died in the crash.
The automaker disclosed details of the Model S crash weeks after it happened in a defensively worded blog post that compared general statistics of car crashes to those involving Tesla vehicles. The fatal Florida crash has raised questions about Tesla’s practice of rolling out a technology that, by its own admission, is still “in a public beta phase.”