A man who police said drove his Tesla Model X SUV into the back of a pickup in Austin, Texas on Sunday had been in the vehicle’s driver’s seat, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
The driver of the pickup died at the scene.
A Tesla spokeswoman, Christine Garvey, confirmed the driver’s identity to CNN and said that the company would be providing “support to the authorities who are investigating this tragic event.” She was unable to say whether he was registered to the company.
Garvey said a safety investigation team is in Austin investigating.
She also sent a statement on the incident that said: “We immediately reached out to the authorities and are eager to share any information we can.”
NTSB spokesperson Keith Holloway said in an email that the agency was notified of the accident “within hours” of the collision.
“As you can imagine, the NTSB is quite busy investigating fatal transportation accidents and it can take a considerable time for us to gather the information we need,” Holloway said.
It remains unclear whether he was using the “autopilot” system, which prevents drivers from using their phones while driving and requires active attention, or something else at the time of the crash.
The incident comes less than a week after Tesla’s decision to release a new technology — vehicle dynamic perception — that allows cars to monitor their surroundings and adjust the settings of their adaptive cruise control systems.
Following Sunday’s crash, Sen. John Thune, the Republican chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, tweeted: “What is the long term intent of automaker attempts to enable self-driving technology?”
“Our hope is that the industry will work with regulators to ensure everyone is responsible.”