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Texas police to seek Tesla vehicle crash data as Musk
denies autopilot use
Police say evidence suggests there was nobody in the driver's seat of the Model S when it crashed and
killed 2 persons.
Texas police will serve search warrants on Tesla Inc on Tuesday to secure data from a vehicle that crashed on the
weekend, killing two people, a senior officer told Reuters on Monday.
Mark Herman, Harris County Constable Precinct 4, said evidence including witness statements clearly suggested
there was nobody in the driver's seat of the Model S when it crashed into a tree on Saturday night.
Herman said a tweet by Tesla chief Elon Musk on Monday afternoon saying that data logs retrieved so far
indicated the car's autopilot was not engaged was the first officials had heard from the company.
"If he is tweeting that out, if he has already pulled the data, he hasn't told us that," Herman told Reuters. "We will
eagerly wait for that data."
"We have witness statements from people that said they left to test drive the vehicle without a driver and to show
the friend how it can drive itself," Herman added.
The crash is being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which regulates
vehicle safety, and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
In his tweet, Musk rejected the idea vehicle's driving software was to blame: "Data logs recovered so far show
Autopilot was not enabled & this car did not purchase FSD", in a reference to Full Self-Driving, Tesla's semi-
automated driver assistance system that requires driver supervision.
Musk added that "standard Autopilot would require lane lines to turn on, which this street did not have."
The 2019 Tesla Model S was traveling at high speed near Houston when it failed to negotiate a curve and went off
the road, crashing into a tree and bursting into flames, Herman said.