Two men in a driverless Tesla were killed when their vehicle crashed into a tree and burst into flames.
The fully-electric 2019 Tesla Model S slammed into the tree in Carlton Woods in Texas at 11.25pm on Saturday night before bursting into flames with the passengers inside.
One person was found in the front passenger seat and another in the rear passenger seat of the vehicle, NBC reports.
Police believe the vehicle was operating without anyone in the driver's seat. The investigation is continuing.
"There was no one in the driver's seat," Sergeant Cinthya Umanzor of the Harris County Constable Precinct 4 said.
Firefighters used 120,000 litres of water over four hours to put out the flames because the car's batteries kept reigniting.
At one point, deputies had to call Tesla to ask them how to put out a fire in the battery.
The incident raised concerns about Tesla's autopilot technology, which uses radars and cameras to drive and essentially avoid obstacles.
There have been at least 23 autopilot-related crashes under investigation by US authorities, but this appears to be the first fatal crash where there was no one in the driver's seat.
Tesla boss Elon Musk said in January that he expects huge profits from its full self-driving software, saying he is "highly confident the car will be able to drive itself with reliability in excess of human this year".
Yesterday Musk tweeted "Tesla with autopilot engaged now approaching 10 times lower chance of accident than the average vehicle".
The tweet was in response to the release of the company's quarter one 2021 safety report.
- additional reporting Daily Mail