U.S. officials believe the Tesla that struck the firetruck in California last month, killing the driver and badly wounding a passenger, was using an autonomous driving system.
On Wednesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that it sent a particular crash investigation team to investigate the crash in Northern California on February 18 and required emergency personnel to cut open the Tesla to retrieve the passenger.
Four Contra Costa County firemen sustained minor injuries.
The investigation is a part of the agency’s more extensive inquiry into several incidents in which Teslas on Autopilot collided with stationary emergency vehicles attending to previous collisions.
The collision on Interstate 680 caused damage to the $1.4 million ladder truck.
The 2014 Tesla Model S’s driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
How Tesla’s Autopilot system recognizes and reacts to emergency vehicles parked on highways is the subject of an NHTSA investigation. While utilizing the plan, at least 15 Teslas have nationwide collisions with emergency vehicles.
According to the authorities, the vehicle was stopped diagonally across the northbound lanes of the freeway with its lights on to protect rescuers from an earlier accident that did not result in injuries.
A deadly collision happened at about four in the morning, and it took several hours to clear the freeway. It was necessary to tow the firetruck away.
Tesla recalled roughly 363,000 vehicles in February, including the Model S, due to potential issues with “Full Self-Driving,” a more advanced version of partially automatic driving.
The online software update accompanying the recall is intended to fix any potential issues with speed limits and junctions.
Tesla has stated that despite their titles, both systems are sophisticated driver assistance systems and that human drivers must always be prepared to take over.
A message was left asking Tesla, which has dissolved its PR division, for comment on Wednesday.