Tesla confirms autopilot was engaged during fatal Model X crash

Autopilot was on during a fatal crash involving a Tesla Model X March 23, and the driver's hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds before the crash, according to a statement from Tesla.

Tesla officials said the car sent multiple audio and visual warnings to the driver to put their hands on the wheel, and "the driver had about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete divider with the crushed crash attenuator, but the vehicle logs show that no action was taken."

The company blamed an unrepaired highway safety barrier for failing to reduce the impact of the crash. Tesla said their cars equipped with autopilot are far safer than most other cars, and it expressed concern that the crash would spread the idea that the feature is unsafe.

"Tesla Autopilot does not prevent all accidents — such a standard would be impossible — but it makes them much less likely to occur. It unequivocally makes the world safer for the vehicle occupants, pedestrians and cyclists," the statement reads.

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