Tesla cleared of responsibility for fatal crash

New results in the investigation of Tesla's 2016 autopilot crash case reveal the car company to be "not guilty".

New results in the investigation of Tesla's 2016 autopilot crash case reveal the car company to be "not guilty".

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NSTB) released Monday pages of the technical reports on the 7 May 2016 accident involving an autonomous Tesla sedan. While there is no conclusion yet what triggered the accident, investigators found new details from the witness who described the details of the crash.

Terrence Mulligan saw the accident as it happened from the billows of white smoke that emanated from the electronic car until it ended underneath a truck. He told the investigators: "Just a white cloud, like just a big white explosion". However, authorities remained blank why the driver did not attempt to take full control of the car's autonomous systems.

Tesla is firm with its statement since last year that the company's car is autopilot and it does not equal to an autonomous vehicle. A representative said, "Autopilot is by far the most advanced driver-assistance system on the road, but it does not turn a Tesla into an autonomous vehicle and does not allow the driver to abdicate responsibility".

Earlier this year, the US National Highway Traffic Safety (NHTSA) found out in a separate investigation that the owner of the Tesla Model S sedan had disregarded the warnings of the manufacturer to take control of the vehicle even if it is in the driver-assist function.

The agency decided not to recall the model since they have found no defects in the involved vehicle.

Last year, Joshua Brown was on board his Tesla Model S crossing the highway in Williston, Florida when the car, set to 74 miles per hour in driver-assist mode, broadsided a truck. The area restricts vehicles to go beyond the 65 miles per hour limit.

The car's roof was shaved off and the rear was furrowed as it went underneath the truck until it struck a utility pole and rested in a home's driveway. According to an examination of the car's electronic data, there was no sign of the victim stomping the brake before the impact happened.

The 40-year-old Brown had been cited for speeding eight times from 2010 to 2015.