The 40-year-old man who was recently killed in a Tesla Autopilot crash was reportedly watching Harry Potter.
Yesterday, Tesla published a blog post on the first driver fatality while its Model S had Autopilot activated, and now the Associated Press reports that the driver was Joshua D. Brown of Canton, Ohio, who died on May 7 in Williston, Florida. Brown was tech-savvy and owned a technology company, and had just one month earlier credited his 2015 Tesla Model S for preventing a crash on an interstate highway.
According to the driver of the tractor trailer, Frank Baressi, the Tesla driver was “playing Harry Potter on the TV screen,” and was apparently driving so quickly that “he went so fast through my trailer I didn’t see him.” He also said during the interview in his home in Palm Harbor, Florida that the movie “was still playing when he died and snapped a telephone pole a quarter mile down the road.” Baressi did admit that he didn’t see the movie actually playing, but he did hear it.
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Tesla has responded saying it isn’t possible to watch videos on the Model S touchscreen.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating the Tesla Autopilot system as a result of the death, and it is likely that the American electric automaker has datalogs that show just how fast the vehicle was traveling at the time of the accident.
Update: Reuters confirms that a portable DVD player was found inside the vehicle.
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