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US Asks Tesla for Autopilot Data in Crash Probe

A display inside a Tesla Model 90D during a demonstration of self-driving car technology on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 15, 2016.

U.S. federal safety investigators have asked electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors for details of its vaunted Autopilot system, in the aftermath of a fatal car crash earlier this year that occurred while the system was in use.

In a letter made public Tuesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also requested data on all crashes linked to Autopilot failure in Tesla cars that have occurred since the system was unveiled last year. And it asks for information on what modifications to the system can be expected in the coming months.

The safety agency is probing a May 7 crash in the southeastern state of Florida that killed a 40-year-old occupant when Autopilot equipment failed to distinguish the white siding on a tractor-trailer from a brightly lit sky.

As a result, the car did not automatically brake. Instead, it crashed into the much larger vehicle as the truck crossed its path.

Some material for this report came from AP and Reuters.


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