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Texas police will demand Tesla hands over data from a fatal crash, after Elon Musk denied the car was running on Autopilot


Tesla Solar Battery
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla.

Texas police will demand data logs from Tesla about a crash that killed two people, a senior office said.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that data showed the car wasn't operating with Autopilot driver-assist.
Officer Mark Herman told Reuters that evidence suggested nobody was in the driver's seat.
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Texas police will on Tuesday demand Tesla hand over data on a fatal car crash that killed two people on Saturday, a senior officer told Reuters.

The Tesla Model S was traveling fast just outside of Houston when it ran off a road, crashed into a tree, and burst into flames, authorities said. Evidence suggested nobody was in the driver's seat, police said. First responders found the bodies of two men, one in the passenger's seat, one in a back seat.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted Monday that data logs showed the car wasn't running on Autopilot, Tesla's driver-assist feature, and didn't have "Full Self-Driving" (FSD) enabled. FSD is a $10,000 add-on that recognizes traffic lights and stop signs, and can self-park.

Mark Herman, a senior police officer in Harris County, told Reuters on Monday that Musk's tweet was the first statement officials had seen from Tesla. Police would serve warrants to get data on the crash, he said.

Read more: Elon Musk wants Tesla to be big in Texas. Here's where he should be focusing his efforts instead.

"If he is tweeting that out, if he has already pulled the data, he hasn't told us that," Herman said. "We will eagerly wait for that data."

Texas Tesla Crash.
An image from the scene of the Tesla crash.

He added that police had "witness statements from people that said they left to test drive the vehicle without a driver and to show the friend how it can drive itself."

Tesla didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Firefighters spent four hours trying to extinguish the fire and used 32,000 gallons of water because the Tesla's lithium ion batteries kept reigniting.

Saturday's incident is the 28th Tesla crash to be investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Autopilot has played a role in more than 20 of these Tesla crashes, according to a Reuters report in March.

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