Tesla Model 3 receives a 'superior' safety rating for front crash avoidance

NHTSA sends team to investigate Tesla autopilot crash in South Jordan report says

"This is consistent with her admission that she was looking at her phone at the time", police said. Police said there was no indication the woman was impaired at the time of the crash, according to the Associated Press.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent its special crash investigations team to gather information about a Tesla Model S that crashed into the rear of a fire department vehicle in Utah last week.

During this "drive cycle", the Model S registered "more than a dozen instances of her hands being off the steering wheel".

It is at least the second Tesla crash linked to the semi-autonomous Autopilot system being investigated by the government agency since January. On two such occasions, she had her hands off the wheel for more than one minute each time and her hands came back on only after a visual alert.

"It's super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the (approximately) 40,000 people who died in United States auto accidents alone in past year get nearly no coverage", Musk said in a tweet.

Recently, the Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) put the Model 3 through some tests and gave the vehicle a "Superior" rating with respect to front crash avoidance.

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Police said the driver not only failed to abide by the guidelines of Autopilot use but also engaged the system on a street with no center median and with stop lights. "She did not touch the steering wheel for the next 80 seconds until the crash happened".

Sharing details about how Tesla Model 3 has earned the "superior" rating for the front crash prevention tests, IIHS has revealed that the vehicle passed the 12 miles per hour and 25 miles per hour front crash prevention tests by successfully avoiding a crash at both the speed levels.

Using cameras and radar that can peer 250 meters ahead of a auto, Tesla's driver-assist software is created to track traffic conditions, keeping vehicles in their lane and changing speeds according to the speed of surrounding cars.

"When using Autopilot, drivers are continuously reminded of their responsibility to keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control of the vehicle at all times", a Tesla spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. The driver finally touched the brake pedal "a second prior to the crash".

Last week, NHTSA also said it would probe a May 8 Tesla accident in Florida that killed two teenagers and injured another.

The National Transportation Safety Board, a separate government agency that looks into accidents and makes safety recommendations, has said it is not investigating the Utah crash. The agencies are looking into the fire that resulted from the electric car's batteries igniting.

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