National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigators are looking into two fatal crashes involving Tesla. An accident in which an electric car killed a pedestrian in California is under investigation.
The second case happened in Florida, when a Tesla crashed into a parked van. Then the driver and passenger of the electric car died. It is not known if the autopilot was engaged at the time of this accident.
In addition to these accidents, the safety department is investigating 16 cases in which Teslas operating on Autopilot crashed into stationary emergency vehicles, resulting in 15 injuries and one death. Most of these crashes occurred in the dark when Tesla’s software ignored warning lights, traffic cones, and other signs.
Tesla leads the state list of accidents that occur with the driver assistance system on. Tesla’s number of cars in such cases is much higher than other brands, due to the fact that it likely sells many more cars with second-level autopilot than its competitors. Tesla also collects telematics data in real time and therefore reports incidents much faster.
According to the safety department, from July 20, 2021 to May 21, 2022, there were a total of 273 accidents involving Teslas using Autopilot. A total of 392 accidents occurred during this time and were included in the report.
Previously, Tesla CEO Elon Musk blamed driver self-confidence for road accidents involving autopilot.
“When there is a major crash, it’s almost always, probably always, an experienced user and the problem is confidence,” he said in 2018.