Data from the vehicle showed that in prior trips Huang had taken corrective action after Autopilot had steered toward the area. The NTSB said in the fatal crash Huang’s hands were not detected on the steering wheel in the final six seconds before the crash. There was no evidence of braking or evasive action.
The NTSB, which also found evidence that the driver was using a smartphone during the trip, plans a Feb. 25 hearing to determine the probable cause of the crash. Tesla did not immediately comment.
The NTSB said Huang had been using an Apple-owned iPhone during his trip and records show evidence of data transmissions.
The NTSB said “most players have both hands on the phone to support the device and manipulate game actions” but added the log data “does not provide enough information to ascertain whether the Tesla driver was holding the phone or how interactive he was with the game at the time of the crash.”
The NTSB, which previously criticized Tesla’s driver assistance system Autopilot after a 2016 fatal crash in Florida, said in September the system’s design permitted a “driver to disengage from the driving task” in an earlier California crash.