Tesla Claims There’s No Evidence Autopilot Was Used Before Recent Model X Crash

Tesla said Wednesday that there is no evidence to support the report that the Model X vehicle involved in a recent crash in Pennsylvania was operating in its semi-autonomous “autopilot” mode. 

The driver of the vehicle, which was involved in a crash on July 1, told police that shortly before hitting a guard rail and rolling he had initiated the driving assist feature called Autopilot.

However, Tesla now says that it can’t confirm whether the feature was in use at the time of the crash, the Detroit Free Press reports.

“We received an automated alert from this vehicle on July 1 indicating air bag deployment, but logs containing detailed information on the state of the vehicle controls at the time of the collision were never received,” Tesla said in a statement. “This is consistent with damage of the severity reported in the press, which can cause the antenna to fail.”

The electric carmaker says that it had reached out to the driver and his passenger to ensure they were okay, but had been unable to reach him.

“We have since attempted to contact the customer three times by phone without success,” the company says. “Based on the information we have now, we have no reason to believe that Autopilot had anything to do with this accident.”

According to Tesla, before Autopilot can be used drivers have to acknowledge that the system is an “assist feature,” requiring them to keep both hands on the wheel at all times.

Drivers are also informed that they need to “maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle” while using the system, and they have to be prepared to take over at any time.

The Pennsylvania State Police, which previously said there was not enough evidence to indicate if Autopilot was in use, tells the Free Press that they will likely cite the Tesla driver, but declined to specify what the charges would be.

Tesla says no evidence Autopilot involved in Pa. crash [The Detroit Free Press]

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