An initial report by the United States National Transportation Safety Board gave more details about the crash, but did not answer the key question: When did the driver leave behind the wheel to the back seat?
Owner of Tesla Inc. A Model S who was hanged in a tree last month, who died along with the occupant, was behind the wheel when the car came out of his house shortly after the crash.
The home surveillance camera grabbed the owner into the driver’s seat before the car slowly took off and ran, according to an initial report Monday to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.
Police in the Houston area had previously said it appeared no one was driving. The driver’s body was found in the back seat and another man sat in the passenger fire seat.
While the NTSB did not specify whether the driver was still driving the vehicle, preliminary reports indicate that it is possible, confirming Tesla’s claim that Autopilot, its driver-assisted expert, had not been involved in the crash.
The driveway appeared to be unlocked, investigators said. The NTSB test for the matching car showed some of the only drivers that could be launched, but not the so-called Autosteer.
William Varner, 59, and Everette Talbot, 69, died when the Model S hit a tree and burned down The Woodlands, a rich neighborhood in Houston. This catastrophic damage led to great interest.
Lars Moravy, Tesla’s vice president of automotive technology, said on the company’s most recent profits he said the steering wheel was “crippled,” which makes it possible for someone to be in the driver’s seat when the accident happened.
An initial NTSB report provided detailed information on the crash, but did not answer an important question: When did the driver leave behind the wheel to the back seat?
A home security camera caught the accident, the NTSB said. “The vehicle took off and walked about 550 feet before leaving the curved road, moving horizontally, and hitting the canal, pit and tree barrier,” the NTSB said in a report.
This damaged the front of the electric motor battery, when the fire started, the NTSB said. Lithium-containing batteries are flammable and difficult to extinguish, and the security services have been investigating the dangers of battery fires for more than a decade.
The electric motors that run the car’s airbags were severely damaged. The device can provide information on speed, speed, seat belt shape and more. The NTSB has taken the device to its laboratory in Washington to try to find the same.
Tesla executives Elon Musk and Moravy did not respond to emails.
The NTSB said it would continue to monitor the disruption, including “experimental results of postmortem poisoning, use of seat belts, sedentary vehicles, and electric vehicle fires.”