NTSB Revokes Tesla's Party Status

Elon Musk's firm has drawn an angry response for saying the fatal Model X crash was the driver's fault. AP

Elon Musk's firm has drawn an angry response for saying the fatal Model X crash was the driver's fault. AP

CEO Elon Musk had not tweeted about the removal by noon on Thursday.

Walter Huang, 38, was killed in the collision while Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot system was engaged.

Peter Knudson, a spokesperson for NTSB, told BuzzFeed News the agency became aware of the statement Wednesday after a local media outlet reached out for comment.

He estimated that the NTSB investigates between 1,300 and 1,400 accidents in all modes of transportation each year. American had taken one of the plane's two crash-proof recorders and downloaded its contents prior to turning the device over to the agency.

Tesla argues the safest thing to do is make whatever it knows public as soon as possible.

Following the 2016 accident, Tesla introduced more frequent warnings to drivers to keep their hands on the wheel.

Rescue workers attend the scene where a Tesla electric SUV crashed into a barrier on US Highway 101 in Mountain View, California, March 25, 2018. However, Tesla might have made the decision to "withdraw" to preempt NTSB's plan to kick the automaker out of the agreement.

On Wednesday, the National Transportation Safety Board revoked Tesla's status as a party in its investigation because the company violated an agreement prohibiting the release of investigative information to the public before the completion of a final report on the crash.

"Such releases of incomplete information often lead to speculation and incorrect assumptions about the probable cause of a crash", the agency points out, "which does a disservice to the investigative process and the traveling public". It reiterated that it broke up with the NTSB, not the other way around.

"However, we will not be sharing information about the findings with them", he said.

Night owls risk dying younger, should sleep in
As part of a detailed questionnaire, they were asked whether they tended to be night owls or morning larks. Night owls were also seen to have higher rates of diabetes and psychological or neurological disorders.


The unusual move came two days after Tesla released its strongest statement yet, blaming the driver of the crashed auto, Apple engineer Walter Huang, for what happened.

Part of the requirements of accepting that invitation, as Tesla did in the case of this particular crash on April 6, is agreeing to abide by the NTSB's rules on public disclosure.

Tesla's argument is that it believes the NTSB process is simply too slow, and said that it chose to pull out of the party agreement. Even if it refuses, the NTSB can subpoena the info. You can already see the arguments forming for the lawsuit.

As the investigation into the death of a Model X owner continues, Tesla is taking a familiar stance when it comes to where the fault lies in the collision with a concrete median: the driver. NHTSA pinned the crash on driver error, saying the system wasn't defective.

The family of a driver killed last month in a Tesla auto crash has hired law firm Minami Tamaki LLP to explore legal options, the firm said on 11 April, adding the Autopilot feature was defective and probably caused his death.

Musk had said: "Since most cars are only in use by their owner for 5% to 10% of the day, the fundamental economic utility of a true self-driving auto is likely to be several times that of a vehicle which is not".

Bloomberg has the details on Tesla's reported flap with the NTSB. Vetr raised Tesla from a "hold" rating to a "buy" rating and set a $342.95 target price for the company in a report on Monday, March 12th. But the basic premise of the system remains: The auto works the steering and speed, the human monitors and intervenes as needed.

Although Tesla offered its condolences to Huang's family, it didn't mince its words when discussing the crash's cause. However, a video on the website shows a driver with his hands on his knees, not the wheel, which Patrick Traughber, a product manager at Twitter, pointed out in a tweet. Sumwalt said in 2017 that "system safeguards were lacking" and "Tesla allowed the driver to use the system outside of the environment for which it was designed and the system gave far too much leeway to the driver to divert his attention".

One possible model here is the Cadillac Super Cruise. It stuck bright green and red LEDs in the top steering wheel to grab the driver's attention when needed, and can vibrate the seat.

Elon Musk's smart vehicle manufacturing company has been officially removed from the investigation into the fatal crash.

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