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Posted on July 13, 2016 by staff

Second Tesla involved in crash with autosteer enabled

Second Tesla involved in crash with autosteer enabled

Tesla Model X (generic image)
Tesla Model X (generic image)

Electric car manufacturer Tesla has admitted that the autopilot feature was enabled when a second of its vehicles crashed on Sunday.

However it said the driver was not using the function correctly and was warned audibly by the car to place his hands on the wheel.

Neither the driver – who identified himself to CNN as ‘Pang’ – nor his passenger was hurt. ‘Pang’ said he spoke only Mandarin and did not understand the car’s commands in English.

The Model X (not pictured above) swerved to the right and struck a post next to a mountain road late at night in Cardwell, Montana.

“This vehicle was being driven along an undivided mountain road shortly after midnight with autosteer enabled,” a spokeswoman told the BBC.

“The data suggests that the driver’s hands were not on the steering wheel, as no force was detected on the steering wheel for over two minutes after autosteer was engaged – even a very small amount of force, such as one hand resting on the wheel, will be detected.

“This is contrary to the terms of use that are agreed to when enabling the feature and the notification presented in the instrument cluster each time it is activated.

“As road conditions became increasingly uncertain, the vehicle again alerted the driver to put his hands on the wheel.

“He did not do so and shortly thereafter the vehicle collided with a post on the edge of the roadway.

“Autosteer … is best suited either for highways with a centre divider. We specifically advise against its use at high speeds on undivided roads.”

Tesla’s use of the tech is being investigated by the US road safety watchdog after a Tesla owner died in Florida when the driver-assist function failed to detect a truck in its path.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said Tesla had no plans to disable the autosteer technology and tweeted that is was right the firm should be “taking the heat for customer safety”.

Meanwhile Jaguar Land Rover has announced it is to test self-driving cars in the UK this year.

A 41-mile‘living laboratory’ test route – on motorways and urban roads – around Coventry and Solihull in the Midlands will host the test fleet.