Electric car manufacturer Tesla says a vehicle involved in a fatal crash in California was in autopilot mode, raising even more questions about the safety of self-driving technology.
One of the company’s Model X cars crashed into a road barrier and caught fire on 23 March.
Tesla says the 38-year-old driver, who died a short time later, it was on auto-Pilot, seconds prior to the accident.
But it does not say if the system has detected the concrete barrier.
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“The driver had received several visual and sound hands in the warning above in the unit,” a statement on the website of the company said.
“The driver’s hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds before the collision.”
“The driver had about five seconds and a distance of 150 m (490ft) of an unobstructed view of the concrete divider… but the vehicle records show that no action was taken,” the statement added.
Tesla’s autopilot system that does many of the things a fully autonomous machine can do. You can brake, accelerate and steer itself under certain conditions.
In 2016, a Tesla driver was killed in Florida when his car failed to detect a truck crossing its path.
This led the company to introduce new security measures, including turning off the autopilot and brings the car to a stop if the driver releases the steering wheel for too long.
Federal investigators said last year that Tesla “lacked understanding” of the semi-autonomous auto-Pilot limitations.
The accident in California comes at a difficult time for the self-driving technology.
Earlier this month, Uber was banned from the resumption of the self-driving tests in the u.s. state of Arizona.
It followed a fatal accident in the state in which an autonomous vehicle that hit a woman who was walking her bike across the road.
It was thought that it was the first time that an autonomous car had been involved in a fatal collision with a pedestrian.
The company discontinued all of the self-driving tests in North America after the accident.