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Driver in Tesla crash relied excessively on Autopilot, but Tesla shares some blame, federal panel finds – Los Angeles Times

A fatal 2016 crash involving a Tesla sedan was caused by the driver’s over-reliance on his vehicle’s Autopilot system and by a truck driver’s failure to yield while entering a Florida roadway, a federal panel determined Tuesday.

But the National Transportation Safety Board also laid some blame on Tesla Inc., in the long-awaited findings of an investigation into the first-known fatal accident involving semi-autonomous driving technology.

The board said Tesla’s Autopilot contributed to the crash. The software of the Tesla Model S “permitted [the driver’s] prolonged disengagement from the driving task” and let him use the Autopilot system on the wrong type of road.

“In this crash, Tesla’s system worked as designed, but it was designed to perform limited tasks in a limited range of environments,” the board’s chairman, Robert L. Sumwalt, said after the board voted 4-0 on the probable cause of the crash and staff recommendations for avoiding future crashes.

Driver in Tesla crash relied excessively on Autopilot, but Tesla shares some blame, federal panel finds – Los Angeles Times

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