A US preliminary report into a fatal Tesla crash in March involving its Autopilot self-driving technology has found that the tech was engaged for 10 seconds before the crash.

The driver had apparently removed his hands from the wheel about 8 seconds before the crash, according to the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is carrying out the investigation.

The roof of the Tesla Model X was sheared off and its 50-year-old driver was killed when the vehicle drove under the trailer of a semi truck that was crossing its path in March 2019.

The driver was previously named as Jeremy Beren Banner, 50, with the incident having taken place on a highway in Delray Beach, Florida.

“Tesla drivers have logged more than one billion miles with Autopilot engaged,” the company said.

The March incident has similarities to a May 2016 crash in which a Model S also drove under the trailer of a semi truck crossing its path.

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