On two occasions, the driver had her hands off the wheel for more than a minute each time, reengaging briefly with the steering wheel only after a visual alert from the auto.
According to a statement released South Jordan released Wednesday, Tesla technicians recovered data recorded by the vehicle and they found the driver had repeatedly engaged, canceled and re-engaged the car's Autosteer and Traffic Aware Cruise Control functions.
"While Tesla's Autopilot feature indicates that a driver must be attentive at all times, the driver admitted that she was looking at her phone prior to the collision".
Vehicle company owner, Elon Musk said in a tweet Tuesday, "It's super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the ~40,000 people who died in United States auto accidents alone in past year get nearly no coverage".
A Tesla spokesperson said the company warns drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and remain alert. "Each time she put her hands back on the wheel, she took them back off the wheel after a few seconds".
"Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot doesn't make the auto impervious to all accidents", the statement said. Both drivers of the two vehicles sustained minor injuries, based on the police statement.
During the driver's trip, she reportedly toggled Autopilot and active cruise control on and off on multiple occasions, and modified the vehicle's cruise speed at varying points.
The driver re-enabled Autopilot 1 minute and 22 seconds before the crash, let go of the wheel 2 seconds later and then didn't touch the wheel again before hitting the truck at 60 miles per hour (97 kph). Against eyewitness reports, the car's computer did reportedly register brake pedal application, as well as her hands' return to the wheel, but the reaction was too little, too late.
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A 28-year-old Lehi woman was issued a citation after her Tesla slammed into the back of truck.
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration confirmed on Wednesday that it has already deployed a team of special crash investigators that will look into a Tesla Model S crash.
AEB is "designed to automatically engage the brakes to reduce the impact of an unavoidable frontal collision with another vehicle" and therefore, drivers should never rely on it to always save them from a crash.
She re-enabled Autopilot 1m22s before the crash, let go of the wheel two seconds later and then didn't touch the wheel again before hitting the truck at 97km/h.
This photo provided by Tesla shows a 2017 Tesla Model 3, a vehicle that has a semiautonomous driving system called Autopilot.
It's unclear if that system activated before the Utah crash.
The NTSB said it has not opened an investigation into the Utah crash.