After two men died in the crash of a Tesla that police believe no one was driving, company chief Elon Musk said the vehicle did not have the autopilot system switched on, according to initial findings.
“Data logs recovered so far show Autopilot was not enabled,” Musk wrote on Twitter Monday, in the company’s first reaction to the accident in Texas on Saturday.
Police had said after preliminary investigations they were “almost 99.9 per cent sure” that no one was behind the wheel, according to the Wall Street Journal.
One of the men was found in the passenger seat and the other in the rear seat. The car crashed into a tree and was burned out after the accident.
Accident investigators from the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) travelled to the scene on Monday.
Police admitted from the start it was unclear whether driving assistance was switched on at the time of the accident.
Tesla should have the data to clarify that – in previous accidents, the company was able to specify exactly how many seconds before impact the steering wheel was last moved.
In his tweet, Musk also pointed to the fact that the street the car was travelling on did not have lane lines, which the system requires to activate.
Tesla’s official advice to customers on the autopilot system is that it is only an assistance tool and there should always be a person in the driving seat with their hands on the wheel.