A fatal collision in Florida between a Tesla Model 3 and a semi-trailer is set to be investigated by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), who both claim they are sending teams to look into the unfortunate incident, according to CNBC.com.
The agencies are already investigating multiple crashes involving Tesla's driver Assistance system Autopilot. And the NHTSA, who serves as the country's auto service regulator, could force a recall if it is determined that a defect in the technology could pose an unreasonable risk. The NTSB, who make safety recommendations, will also provide input.
"NHTSA's Crash Investigation Division assigned a Special Crash Investigation team to investigate the crash," a spokesman for the US Transportation Department said. He added that the NTSB are also sending a three-man team to "to conduct a safety investigation."
The crash, which took place on Friday morning at Delray Beach, Florida, resulted in a 50-year-old Tesla driver losing his life.
According to a report from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department, the semi-trailer was making a left turn onto SR 7 when the Model 3 ran into it from the side. The car did not immediately come to a stop and passed beneath the trailer, which sheared the roof off.
The Sheriff's Dept. did not say whether or not the car's autopilot feature was engaged at the time of the crash
Tesla warns drivers that their hands must always be on the car's steering wheel and that they should pay attention to the road at all times while in autopilot. However, some drivers say they are able to have the car drive them without having to touch the wheel for lengthy periods.
The outcome of this investigation could prove a huge hindrance where Tesla's autonomous ambitions are concerned. Company CEO Elon Musk only recently revealed that the electric automakers will be in possession of fully autonomous car tech before the end of 2019.
“The car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up and take you all the way to your destination without an intervention," Musk claimed. "I would say I am of certain of that. That is not a question mark.”