An accident involving a Tesla vehicle and a Semi truck in Detroit last Thursday is being subjected to an investigation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), sources reveal.
Last Thursday, around 3:20 AM local time in Detroit, Michigan, a white Tesla Model Y drove through an intersection, striking a Semi truck and becoming stuck underneath of the large, commercial vehicle. The two passengers, one male and one female, were transported to a local hospital. The female was in critical condition following the accident. The driver’s condition is currently unknown.
The NHTSA told Teslarati:
“NHTSA is aware of the violent crash that occurred on March 11 in Detroit involving a Tesla and a tractor-trailer. We have launched a Special Crash Investigation team to investigate the crash.”
As a result of the crash, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration stated that a special investigation team would be traveling to Detroit to investigate the crash that occurred on Detroit’s southwest side. The nature of the investigation seems to indicate that the NHTSA plans to try to figure out whether the driver involved in the Detroit accident was using Tesla’s Autopilot software, a semi-autonomous driver assistance feature. The NHTSA could be investigating the crash because of its similarity to two other accidents that involved Teslas driving beneath tractor-trailers, one in 2016 and one in 2019. Both of these incidents were the result of Autopilot usage, the investigations concluded.
Marketwatch spoke to Detroit Police Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood, who said that the possibility of the driver involved in the accident using the Autopilot of Full Self-Driving software is still under investigation.
While Autopilot is a driver assistance feature, it in no way takes over the full responsibility that comes with operating a motor vehicle. Tesla frequently indicates that drivers using either Autopilot or Full Self-Driving must pay attention to road conditions and surroundings at all times. Remaining attentive is a requirement to use either of the features, and Tesla recently revoked access to the FSD Beta program to several drivers due to inattentiveness.
Update: 10:15 AM PST – Revisions to Tesla model involved