(Bloomberg) -- BMW AG is investigating a fatal crash involving one of its models equipped with a driver-assistance system after the vehicle veered into oncoming traffic and caused several follow-on collisions.
The automaker is in close contact with authorities in Reutlingen, outside Stuttgart, following the Monday afternoon crash. Police said the electric BMW iX sport utility vehicle swerved into oncoming traffic, struck a Citroen and then hit a Mercedes-Benz van, resulting in the death of a passenger in that vehicle and leaving nine injured, including a child.
Regulators have been subjecting driver-assistance systems to more scrutiny as automakers equip more of their vehicles with technology that still needs to be monitored by humans at all times. Last year, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered manufacturers to begin reporting crashes where the systems had been activated. The agency is also conducting two investigations into whether Tesla Inc.’s Autopilot is defective.
Four helicopters and ten ambulances responded to the scene in Reutlingen, with around 80 firefighters attending to rescue efforts and a burning vehicle, police said. The BMW involved was a test vehicle, and authorities are investigating whether the 43-year-old driver was in control at the time of the incident.
BMW said a sticker on the vehicle noting it had a camera and was recording for test purposes may have led to misunderstanding as to whether the vehicle was driving autonomously.
(Updates with context in the third paragraph.)
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