UPDATE 2-Tesla mulling 2 theories to explain '' Auto-pilot ' crash: source

Tesla Motors Inc informed U.S. Senate Commerce Committee personnel it is considering 2 theories that may assist describe what resulted in the May 7 fatal crash that eliminated a Florida man who was using the car’s “Auto-pilot” system, an individual knowledgeable about the conference informed Reuters on Friday. Tesla staff members informed congressional assistants at an hour-long rundown on Thursday that they were still attempting to understand the “system failure” that caused the crash, the source stated. Tesla is thinking about whether the radar and cam input for the car’s automatic emergency braking system cannot detect the truck trailer or the automatic braking system’s radar may have identified the trailer but discounted this input as part of a design to “ignore” structures such as bridges to avoid setting off incorrect braking, the source said. Tesla decreased to go over the meeting except to say it did not suggest that the automobile’s video cameras nor radar “triggered” the mishap. It was unclear if other aspects were under examination. Joshua Brown was eliminated when his automobile drove under the tractor-trailer. It was the first known fatality involving a Model S operating on the Auto-pilot system that takes control of steering and braking in specific conditions.

Tesla President Elon Musk was asked on Twitter why the radar did not detect the truck. Musk wrote in a June 30 tweet that “radar tunes out exactly what appears like an overhead roadway sign to prevent incorrect braking events.” Tesla stated in a June post that “neither Autopilot nor the motorist observed the white side of the tractor-trailer versus a brilliantly lit sky.”

Tesla confirmed that the rundown occurred, however a spokeswoman declined to comment on what transpired. The source said Tesla also told committee staffers it views braking failure as separate and distinct from its “Auto-pilot” function, which manages steering, changing lanes, and adjusting travel speed. On Tuesday, the U.S. National Transportation Security Board (NTSB) stated its preliminary findings revealed the Design S was taking a trip at 74 miles per hour (119 km per hour) in a 65-mph (104 km per hour) zone at the time it struck the semi-truck near Williston, Florida.

The report stated the NTSB confirmed the Design S driver was utilizing the advanced driver support features Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer lane-keeping support at the time. The NTSB has not yet identified the likely reason for the crash. Tesla deals with a different examination by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) into whether the system poses an unreasonable danger to driver safety. It deals with a Friday due date to respond to the security agency’s preliminary questions about the crash. (Reporting by David Shepardson; modifying by Jonathan Oatis and David Gregorio).

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