The car crashed into a tree while travelling at high speed said the authorities in Harris County. “There was no one in the driver’s seat,” Sgt. Cinthya Umanzor of the Harris County Constable Precinct 4 told local reporters.
The 2019 Tesla Model S missed a curve at high speed, said the report, slid off the road and burst into flames after crashing into a tree.
The two people in the car were sitting in the front passenger seat and back seat of the Tesla, according to Reuters citing Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman.
Tesla’s self-automated driving system, known as Autopilot, has increasingly come under the spotlight after a number of recent accidents and ahead of the launch of a ‘full driverless’ option.
US agency The National Highway Traffic Safety Board said in March it has 27 investigations underway into crashes involving Tesla vehicles. At least three occurred recently.
Tesla, which has yet to issue a comment about the crash, says that the driver-assist system, called Autopilot, is not an autonomous-driving program, and drivers must be ready to take control of the vehicle at any time.
However, the National Transportation Safety Board has said previously that the system’s design allows it to be left unattended.
The reports also said that responders to the crash in Texas had to call Tesla to ask how to put out the fire as the batteries kept re-igniting.
Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, said in January that full self-driving software will be hugely profitable for the company and that he was “highly confident” the car will be able to drive itself and that by the end of this year it would be more reliable than people.