Driverless Tesla cars, which have been at the forefront of recent accidents, have taken lives this time. Authorities say the vehicle, which had no one in the driver’s seat, burst into flames, killing two people inside.
Two people in the vehicle were killed when a Tesla with no one in the driver’s seat crashed into a tree and exploded, Houston Texas broadcaster KPRC reported. An investigation has been launched into the crash, which occurred at around 9 pm local time. Early indications are that tesla’s battery continues to catch fire again, with crews having to use 30,000 gallons of water for four hours to put out the fire.
Reports said the car was traveling at high speed and was unable to turn, then headed towards a tree on the side of the road. One of the dead was found to be in the front passenger seat of the car and the other in the back seat. It is not yet clear whether electric Tesla’s autopilot driver support system, which is said to be the 2019 model, has been activated.
So far, there have been 23 accidents involving the autopilot system, which is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, it is the first fatal accident in which no one is in the driver’s seat. The company has previously warned customers that autopilot is not an autonomous driving system and that constant attention should be paid to the road during use.
Earlier, Tesla CEO Elon Musk rejected calls from engineers, such as tracking cameras or additional sensors on a steering wheel, because it was ineffective when a vehicle was on autopilot. The company also closed its press unit and declined to comment on the fatal crash.