Two people who were riding in a Tesla Model S were killed in a fatal crash on Saturday. The crash occurred in a suburb in Houston, Texas. The brother of one of the victims told KPRC2 that the car was being taken out for a cruise and that the crash happened less than a hundred yards away. Police involved in the matter said that neither of the two individuals were in the driver’s seat. One of the victims was in the passenger’s seat while the other was in the back row.
After the crash, the Model S burned for four hours. Firefighters first responded to a call about an explosion. The firefighters had to use 32,000 gallons of water to put out the flames.
ABC13 quoted the 911 dispatcher:
“The calling party advised that they did hear a boom and then they saw a fire approximately 20 to 30 feet tall.”
Early reports claimed that the car was on Autopilot and was not able to conduct a turn in a cul-de-sac and hit a tree. But on Monday, Elon Musk tweeted that recovered data logs showed the opposite had occurred and that the owner did not buy full-self-driving mode.
Your research as a private individual is better than professionals @WSJ!
Data logs recovered so far show Autopilot was not enabled & this car did not purchase FSD.
Moreover, standard Autopilot would require lane lines to turn on, which this street did not have.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 19, 2021
The investigation is still underway, but they are ‘100 percent’ sure that Autopilot was not in use.
Tesla has made it clear that Autopilot does not mean the car is fully autonomous. It requires that you keep your hands on the wheel and remain attentive to the road. Tesla has a lot of safety features while in autopilot. One of them is if you take off your seatbelt, a warning will appear on the screen that reads ‘take over immediately.’ If the seatbelt continues to be unbuckled, the screen will say ‘cruise control speed reduced’ and then the car will slow down. Even if the Model S in the crash was in autopilot, the car would have slowly stopped once the person unbuckled.