Another deadly crash involving a Tesla Model S equipped with Autopilot is under investigation. It was so badly damaged in the accident the car was unable to transmit data to the company’s servers. But Tesla says it’s unlikely the semi-autonomous system was in use at the time.
The crash happened in Indianapolis in early November and killed the 27-year-old driver and a 44-year-old passenger. Witnesses told police the car was going at a high rate of speed when it hit a tree, crashed into a building and caught fire. It left a trail of burning battery components that had firefighters dealing with multiple fires caused by the fragments.
Crews were preparing to make the rescue effort,” Indianapolis Fire Department Battalion Chief Kevin Jones told the Indianapolis Star. “At the same time, some of those smaller (battery) cells that had broken apart were firing off almost like projectiles around the rescuers.”
Tesla says there was so much damage the car was unable to send data to the company’s servers. It would have shown if Autopiot was engaged. However, the automaker says it probably wasn’t because AutoPilot would have limited the speed to 35-miles-an-hour on the street where the crash happened.
“We are deeply saddened to hear that this accident involved fatalities,” the Palo Alto, California-based company said in a statement. The electric carmaker is cooperating with Indianapolis police in the investigation.