Autopilot, the series of technologies used in conjunction that allow a Tesla Model S drive semi-autonomously, was in use when one 2015 Model S crashed, killing the driver.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration ("NHTSA") is looking into the crash and thus, looking into Autopilot.
Tesla remarked on the situation on their blog:
We learned yesterday evening that NHTSA is opening a preliminary evaluation into the performance of Autopilot during a recent fatal crash that occurred in a Model S. This is the first known fatality in just over 130 million miles where Autopilot was activated. Among all vehicles in the US, there is a fatality every 94 million miles. Worldwide, there is a fatality approximately every 60 million miles. It is important to emphasize that the NHTSA action is simply a preliminary evaluation to determine whether the system worked according to expectations.
It's heartbreaking to think that someone thought their car was taking care of the driving and then, presumably all of a sudden, they end up in a crash that takes their life. Autopilot thought it may be called, Tesla expects people keep their eyes open and their hands on the wheel when using the feature. Still, there's no way to tell right now exactly what happened.
Regardless of fault, we can expect some for some draft regulations around autonomous vehicles to come out of this inquiry.