Tesla Driver in Utah Crash Says Autopilot Was Engaged


The motorist suffered a broken ankle and was taken to a hospital while a firefighter escaped unharmed.

Police in the Salt Lake City suburb of South Jordan said Monday the driver also said in an interview that she was looking at her phone before the accident.

He said the "actually amazing" thing is how little the driver was injured despite her high speed. Police in a Salt Lake City suburb say it's not immediately known whether a Tesla Model S sedan's semi-autonomous Autopilot driving system was in use when it rear-ended a truck apparently without braking before impact at approximately 60 miles per hour.

Witnesses said the Tesla vehicle did not brake prior to impact, the police said in a statement, adding it was unknown if the autopilot feature in the Model S was engaged at the time.

Also on Monday, Tesla said its highest-ranking engineer would take a leave of absence and CEO Elon Musk formally announced the restructuring he had previously hinted about on Tesla's weird first-quarter earnings conference call. "But that goes to the Tesla safety features ... that she was able to walk away with only the minor injuries that she did".

Tesla said in a company release that it's saddened by the crash and is fully cooperating with authorities to find out the facts. "They said they'd put it at the top of their priority list". However, Tesla has said that he is not leaving the company. The driver in that incident died, but Tesla said he was pulled from the vehicle before it caught fire. "And (the Tesla driver) could be facing a citation for failing to maintain control of her vehicle".

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This has raised concerns about just how safe the system is after a man was killed in a crash back in March, making this the second fatal crash using the cars' autopilot.

Police in southern Switzerland say they are investigating the death of a German man after a Tesla auto he was driving crashed into a guardrail and burst into flames last week.

"It is unfortunate that Tesla, by its actions, did not abide by the party agreement", Sumwalt said.

Mr Schwall was the electric carmaker's main technical contact with United States safety investigators.

Schwall had been Tesla's director of field performance engineering, according to his LinkedIn page, which said he served as Tesla's primary technical contact with safety regulatory agencies such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a memo on Monday that the company is reorganizing in an effort aimed at "flattening management".