Driver in fatal 2018 Tesla crash reported prior ‘Autopilot’ issue


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A driver killed in a March 2018 Tesla autopilot crash in California reported previously that the vehicle steered toward an area off the highway on prior trips, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) disclosed in documents made public Tuesday.

Walter Huang, a 38-year-old Apple engineer, was driving his Tesla Model X in Mountain View in Autopilot mode at about 70 mph when it crashed into a safety barrier. The NTSB said Huang had reported issues on prior trips with Autopilot steering the wheel toward an area between an off-ramp and the lane known as the “gore area.” Data from the vehicle showed that in prior trips Huang had taken corrective action after Autopilot had steered toward the area. The NTSB said in the fatal crash Huang’s hands were not detected on the steering wheel in the final six seconds before the crash.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama