United States road safety regulator the National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) has scheduled a public hearing into the cause of a fatal crash involving Tesla’s Autopilot on March 23, 2018.
The hearing will take place almost two years after the incident which saw Wei Huang’s Tesla Model X collide with a concrete barrier on Interstate 101 in Mountain View, California while the vehicle’s Autopilot mode was engaged.
The electric vehicle maker cited (via the Model X's data-logging) that Mr Huang received multiple visual and one audible ‘hands-on warning'.
The marque also claimed that in the lead up to the crash, Mr Huang had his hands off the steering wheel for six seconds, and had five seconds and 150 metres of “unobstructed” view of the barrier that he would come to collide with.
The investigation also revealed that Mr Huang was operating a mobile phone at the time, but details are unclear as to whether he was using both hands to hold the phone.
The public hearing is not the first time the NTSB has taken aim at Tesla.
Following a fatal crash involving a Model S being driven in Autopilot mode in 2016, the NTSB made recommendations to car-makers to make their driver-assist systems more resistant to misuse by inattentive drivers.
As reported by Bloomberg, Volkswagen, Nissan and BMW all provided sufficient responses for their systems, however Tesla entered into no formal correspondence with the NTSB regarding how they had implemented safety suggestions.
The public hearing is set to take place in Washington D.C. on 25th February at 9:30am EST (26th February 12:30am AEST).