Federal Investigators Gathering “Information” About Fatal Tesla Wreck In Houston, Buttigieg Says

Federal Investigators Gathering “Information” About Fatal Tesla Wreck In Houston, Buttigieg Says

Federal investigators are still in the midst of gathering new “information” in an ongoing probe of last week’s fatal Houston wreck that left two men dead, Reuters reported late Thursday. 

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said late in the day: “We are following this very closely,” before telling reporters that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) special crash investigation team “is still gathering facts and information” and is in touch with Tesla and police.

Police, NHTSA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash, the report noted.

Recall yesterday we noted that Consumer Reports dropped a bombshell, independently corroborating the notion that Tesla Model Ys can drive themselves with no one in the drivers seat.

Consumer Reports said it could “easily get the car to drive even with no one in the driver’s seat,” according to CNBC. The auto reviewer said it was able to trick the system by putting a weighted chain on the steering wheel and keeping the seatbelt buckled. 

Consumer Reports’ senior director of auto testing, Jake Fisher, told CNBC: “In our test, the system not only failed to make sure the driver was paying attention — it couldn’t even tell if there was a driver there at all.”

 

Consumer Reports also said that Tesla’s Autopilot can operate where there is no lane lines, which was the case in the Houston wreck. 

“Any system that looks at lane lines can be tricked. They may see something as a lane line that is not, like a car strip, a curb may be interpreted as landline and so on.” Fisher continued: “Tesla is falling behind other automakers like GM and Ford that use technology to make sure the driver is looking at the road on models with advanced driver assist systems.”

Additionally on Thursday, Bloomberg reported that several Senators had “raised questions about Tesla safety” in a new letter to the NHTSA. Senators Blumenthal and Markey expressed concerns about a “possible emerging pattern” of safety concerns – to which we reply: where have you been the last 2 years?

Recall, on Wednesday we noted that one of the men who died in the fiery Houston Tesla wreck that we have been reporting on over the last few days has been identified as 59-year-old Dr. William Varner. Varner was a doctor at the local Memorial Hermann Health System.

Mark Herman, Harris County Constable Precinct 4, told Reuters earlier in the week that the police will serve search warrants on Tesla to secure data from the wreck.

He was responding to a tweet by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who said, “Data logs recovered so far show Autopilot was not enabled.” Herman appeared quite skeptical: “If he is tweeting that out, if he has already pulled the data, he hasn’t told us that” Herman told Reuters. “We will eagerly wait for that data.”

“We have witness statements from people that said they left to test drive the vehicle without a driver and to show the friend how it can drive itself,” Herman said according to the Reuters report.

Recall, the Tesla slammed into a tree near Hammock Dunes Place in the Houston Area, a local NBC affiliate reported. The wreck was in the “Carlton Woods subdivision near the Woodlands,” the report says. According to authorities, “the vehicle failed to negotiate a cul-de-sac turn, ran off the road and hit the tree.”

Of the two occupants, one was seated in the passenger seat of the front of the car while the other was seated in the passenger seat of the back of the car.  

Tyler Durden
Fri, 04/23/2021 – 09:25

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