Two people were killed in a deadly car crash involving a Tesla electric vehicle traveling without anyone in the driver's seat.
Authorities said that the Tesla slammed into a tree in the Carlton Woods subdivision near The Woodlands in Spring, Texas.
Authorities said the 2019 Tesla Model S crashed and burst into flames in the late evening at the weekend. First responders found one man sitting in the front passenger seat, while another man was sitting in the rear passenger seat of the vehicle.
Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said they found no evidence that anyone was actually driving the vehicle when the crash happened. Herman said they believe no one else was in the car when it crashed and they found no other bodies around the crash site.
Firefighters spent hours putting out the flames, using more than 32,000 gallons of water. Authorities said they are still conducting a comprehensive investigation into the cause of the crash.
The wives of the two men - aged 59 and 69 years old - told reporters that they had asked to go out for a drive and were talking about Tesla's Autopilot feature.
Authorities believe the car may have been traveling at a very high speed when it failed to navigate a turn. It then ran off the road and hit a tree near 18 Hammock Dunes Place.
One of the victim's relatives said the two were best friends and were out to test out the vehicle. They said no one else was with them when the car crashed just a few hundred yards from where they left.
Tesla has been marketing its automated driving systems under the monikers "Autopilot" and "Full Self-Driving (FsD)" but the company has repeatedly cautioned that this does not mean that its vehicles are fully autonomous. In its vehicle's owner's manuals, Tesla tells drivers that the vehicle still requires driver supervision.
In Germany, Tesla had been banned from using such phrases as "Autopilot" and "Full Self-Driving" in its advertising as it misleads customers from overestimating the capabilities of the vehicles.