Crash of Tesla Model S killing 2 a clear sign that regulation may be coming

The fiery crash of a Tesla near Houston with no one behind the wheel is drawing scrutiny from two federal agencies that could bring new regulation of electronic systems that take on some driving tasks.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety board said Monday they would send teams to investigate the Saturday night crash on a residential road that killed two men in a Tesla Model S.

Local authorities said one man was found in the passenger seat, while another was in the back. They’re issuing search warrants in the probe, which will determine whether the Tesla’s Autopilot partially automated system was in use. Autopilot can keep a car centered in its lane, keep a distance from cars in front of it, and can even change lanes automatically in some circumstances.

On Twitter Monday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk wrote that data logs “recovered so far” show Autopilot wasn’t turned on, and “Full Self-Driving” was not purchased for the vehicle. He didn’t answer reporters’ questions posed on Twitter.

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Source: Associated Press – TOM KRISHER

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