Report: Tesla Car Was Speeding in Fatal Autopilot Crash
Joshua Brown was going 9mph over the speed limit
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 26, 2016 5:15 PM CDT
The Tesla Model S that was being driven by Joshua Brown, who was killed when the sedan crashed while in self-driving mode on May 7.   (Uncredited)

(Newser) – The driver killed when his Tesla sedan crashed while in self-driving mode was traveling at 9mph above the speed limit just before hitting the side of a tractor-trailer, federal accident investigators said Tuesday. Data downloaded from the Tesla Model S shows the vehicle was traveling at 74mph in a 65-mph zone on a divided highway in Williston, Florida, the AP reports. The driver, Joshua Brown, 40, a tech company owner from Canton, Ohio, was using the sedan's cruise control and lane-keeping features at the time, the report said. Those features are part of the vehicle's Autopilot self-driving system, but the National Transportation Safety Board's preliminary report doesn't mention the system.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is also investigating the crash, has previously said the Autopilot was engaged. The Tesla's roof struck the underside of the truck's 53-foot semitrailer at a 90-degree angle, shearing off the sedan's roof before it emerged on the other side of the trailer, according to the report. The truck was making a left turn at the time. The sedan is equipped with automatic emergency braking. Tesla and NHTSA have previously said the Autopilot was unable to distinguish the white side of the truck from the brightly lit sky and there was no attempt to brake by either the self-driving system or Brown, who may have been distracted by a Harry Potter DVD.