Two men have died after a Tesla with no one at the wheel crashed into a tree and burst into flames, police have said
The incident took place late on Saturday evening in the Carlton Woods subdivision in Spring, Texas, north of Houston.
Constable Mark Herman of Harris County’s Precinct 4 told KPRC 2 that an initial investigation indicated that “no one was driving” the fully-electric 2019 Tesla.
One man was found in the front passenger seat and another man was in the rear seat of the car.
Police say they do not believe anyone else was in the car and that it was not being driven by a human.
The vehicle was travelling at high speed when it is believed to have failed to negotiate a turn on a cul-de-sac and hit a tree. Tyre tracks can be seen through the roadside grass leading up to the tree.
While the two men have not been formally identified, local news outlets reported the brother-in-law of one of the men as saying the driver was taking the car out with his best friend, appearing to confirm that there were just two people in the vehicle.
He said the owner of the vehicle backed out of the driveway and then may have moved into the back seat, before the crash a few hundred yards down the street. The owner was found in the back seat of the car sitting upright.
The vehicle burned for four hours and it took 23,000 gallons of water to put the fire out as the car’s batteries kept reigniting.
Tesla with Autopilot engaged now approaching 10 times lower chance of accident than average vehicle https://t.co/6lGy52wVhC
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 17, 2021
At one point, firefighters say they had to contact Tesla for help in extinguishing the blaze.
Earlier on Saturday, Tesla founder Elon Musk tweeted out the results of a safety report for the all-electric vehicles for the first quarter of 2021.
“Tesla with Autopilot engaged now approaching 10 times lower chance of accident than average vehicle,” he wrote.
The Independent has contacted Tesla for comment.