The Model 3 was going 68 miles per hour when it hit the trailer on USA 441, and the speed limit was 55 mph, the report said.
"Preliminary vehicle data show that the Tesla was traveling about 68 miles per hour [109 km/h] when it struck the semitrailer", the report said.
"As the Tesla approached the private driveway, the combination vehicle pulled from the driveway and traveled east across the southbound lanes of United States 441". The vehicle collided with a semi-trailer that was crossing the highway to make a left turn and join the northbound lanes. The footage from nearby surveillance cameras and Tesla's front camera reportedly shows the semi-trailer slow down in front of the Tesla, blocking its path.
Tesla shares closed at the lowest level in nearly 2 1/2 years after Elon Musk called for a "hardcore" review of all the electric-car maker's expenses and an analyst warned of potentially severe fallout from a fatal crash involving Autopilot. The driver of the semi-trailer was uninjured. This suggests that over the course of 10 seconds and while traveling at speed, the driver had engaged driver assistance but then chose to stop being in control of the auto. From less than eight seconds until the time of the crash, the driver's hands were not detected on the steering wheel, the NTSB report stated.
The safety board is also looking at another fatal crash involving Autopilot in 2018 in California. NTSB further added that probable cause has not been determined.
The driver was killed when the vehicle slammed into the side of a semi-truck that was crossing a highway in Delray Beach, the NTSB said in a preliminary report released Thursday. It was the only time autopilot had been used during that particular commute.
Tesla said it was "deeply saddened" by the accident, and that its "thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy".
The Autopilot system is actually the star of the show in Nico's Hands-Free Podcast, as he drives around interviewing his passengers while the vehicle does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to driving down the highway. Sadly, that did not happen in this case.