Tesla owner was watching 'Harry Potter' during autopilot crash, says truck driver

Navy SEAL Dies Behind The Wheel When Self-Driving Tesla Gets Into Accident
Navy SEAL Dies Behind The Wheel When Self-Driving Tesla Gets Into Accident

Joshua D. Brown, the first person to die in a Tesla autopilot accident, was watching a "Harry Potter" movie when the vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer, according to the surviving truck driver.

"It was still playing when he died and snapped a telephone pole a quarter mile down the road," Frank Baressi told the Associated Press.

Reuters reported Friday that the Florida Highway Patrol said it found an aftermarket digital video disc (DVD) player in the wreckage of the Tesla Motors Model S involved in the crash on May 7.

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According to Tesla, it is impossible to watch movies on the car's touchscreen. Baressi added that he could only hear the movie playing, but didn't see it.

The Model S was on autopilot mode when its cameras failed to differentiate the white side of a truck from a bright sky.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a formal investigation into the accident which occurred on May 7.

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"Preliminary reports indicate the vehicle crash occurred when a tractor-trailer made a left turn in front of the Tesla at an intersection on a noncontrolled access highway," the agency said. "The driver of the Tesla died due to injuries sustained in the crash."

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Despite the tragic crash, Tesla still stands by their vehicles.

'This is the first known fatality in just over 130 million miles where Autopilot was activated," the motor company said in a statement. "Among all vehicles in the US, there is a fatality every 94 million miles."

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The company also noted that they make it explicitly clear to drivers that the autopilot function is only an assist feature and still requires that the driver keep their hands on the wheel.

Read original story Tesla Owner Was Watching 'Harry Potter' During Autopilot Crash, Says Truck Driver At TheWrap

Originally published