U.S. agency: Fatal Tesla ‘Autopilot’ crash driver did not have hands on wheel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday the driver using “Autopilot” in a fatal Tesla Inc Model X crash in California in March did not have his hands on the wheel in the six seconds before the crash.

The logo on a 2018 Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle is shown in Cardiff, California, U.S., in this picture taken June 1, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The NTSB said in a preliminary report the driver had been given two visual alerts and one auditory to place his hands on the steering wheel during the trip. The report also said the vehicle had sped up from 62 miles (99 km) per hour to nearly 71 miles (114 km) per hour in the three seconds before the crash. The report also said the electric car’s high-voltage battery reignited five days after the March 23 crash and a local fire department responded to extinguish the fire.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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