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Board Meeting: Collision Between a Car Operating With Automated Vehicle Control Systems and a Tractor-Semitrailer Truck, Near Williston, Florida, May 7, 2016 - Closing Statement
Robert L. Sumwalt
NTSB Boardroom and Conference Center

​In closing, I want to thank my colleagues for the good discussion and debate.

I would also like to thank the staff, both for their investigative work and for their thoughtful and well-researched analysis of a fast-evolving policy area.

Some of the smartest people in the world are hard at work on automating the driving task. In this crash, Tesla’s system worked as designed, but it was designed to perform limited tasks in a limited range of environments.

Tesla allowed the driver to use the system outside of the environment for which it was designed, and the system gave far too much leeway to the driver to divert his attention to something other than driving.

The result was a collision that should not have happened. System safeguards were lacking.

Today’s recommendations, if acted upon, will help provide system safeguards, make standardized safety data available, and improve the safety of partially automated vehicles and everyone who shares the road with them.

Thank you, and we stand adjourned.