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Musk says Tesla Autopilot is here to stay despite recent death

Tesla’s Elon Musk has no plans to disable or scale back the firm’s Autopilot feature, despite the recent death of a Model S driver.

The electric car company was rocked to its core in May, when a driver using the Autopilot automation feature was killed in a collision with a white 18-wheeler.

The Autopilot, which assists with lane changes and braking, had failed to spot it in the bright sky and hence failed to brake. It was the first known death while the autopilot system was in use.

Now, speaking to the Wall Street Journal, the CEO says he wants to help educate drivers on using the system, rather than allow it to fade into the background.

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He said the feature is still in beta and, as thus, drivers should not be complacent and should still be prepared to take the wheel at any second.

The education would come in the form of a blog post, Musk said (via The Verge).

Despite the use of the feature possibly costing one Florida man his life, Musk said Autopilot was rolled out so quickly because ”we knew we had a system that on balance would save lives.”

The comments come as the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed it was deepening its investigation into the crash.

It has asked Tesla to provide records of other crashes where Tesla’s Autopilot system may be have been in use.

At the weekend, the firm revealed a second accident, with a Model X crashing while Autopilot was enabled. None of the involved parties were injured.

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