Tesla says Autopilot not engaged when Danville driver veers off road in Castro Valley pond

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Tesla said on Wednesday that the Autopilot feature was not engaged when a Danville driver veered off road and ended up in a Castro Valley pond. “We have been able to recover enough data from the vehicle to confirm that Autopilot was not engaged at the time of this accident,” according to a Tesla statement.

California Highway Patrol Officer Daniel Jackowitz told KTVU Wednesday morning that he had not yet been told of this Autopilot date and that authorities were still investigating the death of  Keith Leung, 34, and awaiting his toxicology reports. 

Leung, an engineer by day and musician by evening, was found Monday in a Castro Valley pond after he drove his Tesla Model S  off the road and into the water, authorities said. The crash occurred near the cities of San Ramon and Danville on Sunday evening, according to Jacowitz. A property owner contacted authorities after hearing a noise and seeing damage to his fence and tire tracks.

The car was traveling at a speed "great enough to leave the roadway, hit a fence, keep going down an embankment and into a pond on the property," Jacowitz said.

In regards to Leung's death, Tesla reiterated:  "Our thoughts are with the family and friends affected by this tragedy.”

In March, the driver of a Tesla Model X was killed in Moutain View when his SUV hit a barrier while traveling at "freeway speed." The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating that case, in which the Autopilot system was engaged.

Autopilot was also engaged in a crash earlier this month in Utah, according to data from the car.

Also this month, the NTSB opened a probe into an accident in which a Model S caught fire after crashing into a wall at a high speed in Florida. Two 18-year-olds were trapped in the vehicle and died in the flames. The agency has said it does not expect Autopilot to be a focus in that investigation.

Autopilot is the most well-known semi-autonomous system. It uses cameras and sensors on the front, sides and rear of the car to observe lane markings and to "see" other cars that are nearby. It's simple to engage, requiring only two quick taps of a stalk. There are no limitations on where Autopilot can be used. Drivers can enable it on the freeway, side streets, or anywhere with distinct lane markings.

The Associated Press contributed to this rep