Tesla in autonomous mode hits parked police car

30 May, 2018, 16:31 | Author: Gladys Mathis
  • Police Sgt. Jim Cota says the officer was not in the cruiser during the crash Tuesday in Laguna Beach. He says the Tesla driver suffered minor injuries

In an event that will justify this week's paychecks for Tesla's PR staff, one of the line's luxury Model S sedans rammed into a parked cop vehicle on Tuesday in Laguna Beach.

The Laguna Beach Police Department in Orange County, California, tweeted images from the scene on Tuesday, showing one of its SUVs smashed and missing a rear wheel after a Tesla sedan rammed it off the roadway. The parked cruiser was unoccupied, the officer standing about 100 feet away off Laguna Canyon Road as he responded to a call. Asked about Tuesday's crash, Tesla said, "When using Autopilot, drivers are continuously reminded of their responsibility to keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control of the vehicle at all times".

On May 11, a Tesla Model S sedan in autopilot mode collided with a stopped fire department mechanic truck in South Jordan, Utah, AP said. Tesla's autopilot system uses sensors, cameras, and radar to study the vehicle's surroundings and carry out automatic functions which include emergency braking. The driver, he said, also pointed to the Autopilot system as being engaged.

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The Tesla sedan was driving outbound when it struck a parked Laguna Beach police vehicle, the Laguna Beach police department said Tuesday. No one was seriously injured in either incident, but the increased attention on Tesla's Autopilot features worked Tesla CEO Elon Musk into a Twitter fury, and has raised questions about Autopilot's real-world usage. It also insists the accidents are primarily the result of human error, not the autopilot feature itself.

Tesla, in its defence, repeated its previous statements about Autopilot being an assistant rather than a replacement for the human.

Earlier in May, 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. The technology "doesn't make the auto impervious to all accidents", it said. Since March, a driver died when his Model X SUV hit the center divider in Mountain View, Calif., while in Autopilot mode.

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