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Tesla crash: driver ignored warnings, investigators find

Since the crash, those reports have said, Tesla has updated its Autopilot feature to include a strikeout system, whereby drivers who repeatedly ignore safety warnings risk having their Autopilot disabled until the next time they start the vehicle.

The National Transportation Safety Board said the driver had been using the semi-autonomous driver assistance system for extended periods when his auto crashed into a 53-foot freight trailer west of Williston, Florida.

"Tesla immediate responded to the news by clarifying that its Autopilot feature is disabled by default, and when enabled, shows a notification box that says it "'is an assist feature that requires you to keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times, ' and that "you need to maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle" while using it". The driver and sole occupant of the Tesla died in the crash; the commercial truck driver was not injured.

Tesla's autopilot mode allows a vehicle to maintain the speed of traffic, and an auto-steer function is created to help keep the Tesla inside its lane. Brown's Model S collided with a truck while it was engaged in the "Autopilot" mode and he was killed.A Tesla Inc spokeswoman Tesla spokeswoman Keely Sulprizio declined to comment on the NTSB report.

After looking through the electronic devices in the vehicle, NTSB found no evidence that they were in use and its witness accounts don't match what was previously reported.

Meanwhile, in a separate investigation into the crash, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in January found no evidence of defects.

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One thing the NTSB search appears to confirm is that, despite initial reports, Joshua Brown was not watching a video at the time of the crash.

The NTSB cautioned that its report was only fact-finding about the crash.

The NTSB probes only a handful of highway accidents each year in search of broad safety lessons. No conclusions about how or why the crash occurred should be drawn from the docket. The impact killed the Tesla driver, Joshua Brown, who had set the vehicle to a speed of 74 miles (119 km) an hour in a zone limited to 65 miles per hour.

The Tesla, its roof sheared off and crumpled at the rear of the vehicle, continued down the road until it struck a utility pole and came to rest in a home's driveway. But it is the second agency whose findings have not faulted Tesla's driver-assistance system.

The 40-year-old Brown had been cited for speeding eight times from 2010 to 2015. The driver of the truck, which was pulling a trailer, was unhurt.

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