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Elon Musk claims Tesla involved in fatal crash with no one in driver’s seat wasn’t on Autopilot

Elon Musk claims that the Tesla Model S involved in a fatal crash with no one in the driver’s seat in Texas this weekend wasn’t on Autopilot.

The situation is extremely strange.

Earlier today, we reported on a strange and tragic accident in a Tesla that happened in Spring, Texas on Saturday.

A Tesla Model S missed a turn, hit a tree and caught on fire – leaving the two people inside dead.

The strange thing was that the police said that don’t think anyone was in the driver seat as someone was found on the front passenger seat and another in the back seat.

Furthermore, a family member of the Tesla owner said that he jumped in the back seat when starting the drive.

As we noted, the local media presented the accident as being an autonomous vehicle crash, but Tesla doesn’t have any autonomous vehicle on the road right now – only vehicles with driver-assist features.

Now CEO Elon Musk says that Tesla has obtained “data logs” from the vehicle and claims that the vehicle wasn’t on even on Autopilot – the automaker’s main driver assist feature suite:

Musk referenced Autopilot requiring lane lanes for the base version, but that’s not always the case.

But the accident indeed happened in a very residential area where Autopilot is not meant to be used:

Tesla’s FSD beta works on those roads, but Musk seems to confirm that the owner wasn’t on the beta.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced that they are investigating the incident.

Electrek’s Take

That’s turning into a really strange accident.

I understand Elon wanting to fight against the media saying that this was a crash involving an autonomous Tesla because that’s simply not true.

At worst, it’s a crash involving a Tesla with driver assist features that might have been misused.

But now Elon claiming that even Autopilot wasn’t used is strange.

We have the police and a family member pointing to some shenanigans about the driver getting into the backseat.

While Tesla has some measures against that, we have seen plenty of people get around those to do stupid things.

Elon says that they have the logs so it sounds like Tesla has strong evidence on its side, but the automaker has misused that evidence in the past.

Tesla has been known to pull the logs out of vehicles involved in crashes where Autopilot was blamed.

However, Tesla has also been known to sometimes present the data in misleading ways.

For example, the automaker has told the media that the driver’s hands weren’t detected on the steering wheel prior to a crash, but Tesla can’t detect hands on their steering wheel and can only detect torque being applied to the wheel.

I am not saying that is what is happening here, but due to the conflicting information we are getting, I think that a NTSB/NHTSA investigation might actually be useful here.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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