In the moments before the collision his vehicle had been in Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot mode.
Deaths involving both fully and partially self-driving vehicles are an inevitability - and increasingly likely as more vehicles hit public roads.
Federal safety investigators have booted electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc. from the group investigating the crash. The agency, which recommendations to government and industry but has no regulatory powers, wrote to Tesla and five other auto companies to recommend better means of driver monitoring.
The later NTSB statement explained the situation a bit differently, stating that Tesla had "violated the party agreement by releasing investigative information before it was vetted and confirmed by the NTSB".
"It is unfortunate that Tesla, by its actions, did not abide by the party agreement", said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt.
"It's been clear in our conversations with the NTSB that they're more concerned with press headlines than actually promoting safety", Tesla said. That is, if security is continuing higher in an uptrend, the amount of the protection should also increase and vice versa.
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The safety regulator said it had revoked party status in other investigations, but that it was "rare". "That seems to me to be quite fair".
The NTSB, along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is looking into the crash, as well as another Tesla crash in January near Los Angeles in which a Model S sedan smashed into a firetruck parked on a freeway. While this will not help or hinder the process of the investigation, Tesla has lost the chance of making a difference in the outcome of the investigation.
Showing how speculation of investigations discussed publicly can have an impact, in one exchange NHTSA officials asked to discuss technical issues that "have been floated in the media".
After the most recent incident, Tesla issued a statement saying Huang was at fault for the crash - even though Autopilot was running.
In a statement, Tesla said that Walter's vehicle tried to give him both visual and audible warnings urging him to put his hands on the wheel, but no hands were detected for six seconds prior to the accident. While the electric carmaker still relies on technology that federal investigators said was too easy to sidestep, it's now working on unspecified improvements to its vehicles, according to the NTSB.
Earlier this week, Tesla blamed Huang for the accident, which the NTSB contends runs counter to agency protocols. The period of manufacturing woes is lasting about two to three quarters longer than he thought, he said. "People simply can't attend to when there is not much happening". In other words, EPS reveals how profitable a company is on a share owner basis. "If we're going to prevent crashes in the future, and surely that's the aim, then we need to understand what went wrong", Stanton says.