Tesla ‘on autopilot’ smashes into parked police car (PHOTO)
Laguna Beach Sergeant Jim Cota said on Twitter that the cop car was unmanned at the time of the impact, while the Tesla driver sustained minor injuries. The crash happened soon after 11am Tuesday on Laguna Canyon Road. Cota told the LA Times the “police car is totalled.”
This morning a Tesla sedan driving outbound Laguna Canyon Road in “autopilot” collides with a parked @LagunaBeachPD unit. Officer was not in the unit at the time of the crash and minor injuries were sustained to the Tesla driver. #lagunabeach#police#teslapic.twitter.com/7sAs8VgVQ3— Laguna Beach PD PIO (@LBPD_PIO_45) May 29, 2018
The driver told police the car was operating on autopilot at the time of the crash. 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 company describes it as being a “driver assistance system.”
“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,” Tesla said. “Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot doesn’t make the car impervious to all accidents.”
According to Cota, a Tesla on autopilot crashed into a semi-truck at the same location last April. Police are examining whether something about the area’s lane markings or topography are creating a problem for the cars’ technology, KTLA reports.
Tesla cars have been involved in a number of recent crashes involving autopilot mode. In March, a Model X hit a highway divider while on autopilot in California, killing the driver.
In Utah, a Model S in autopilot crashed into a fire truck stopped at a red light in May. Two people were injured in the crash. According to the vehicle’s data, it sped up just before hitting the truck and the driver hit the brakes seconds before impact. In January, a Model S crashed into a parked fire truck in California while on autopilot.
A Tesla plowed into the rear of Engine 42 earlier this morning while crews were on the 405 freeway for a motorcycle down. Amazingly there were no injuries! Please stay alert while driving! #ccfd #culvercityfire #culvercityfiredepartment #culvercityfirefighters #culvercity #heartofscreenland #abc7eyewitness #fox11news #ktla5news
Tesla founder Elon Musk complained about the press coverage Tesla crashes are receiving earlier this month. “It’s super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the ~40,000 people who died in US auto accidents alone in past year get almost no coverage,” Musk wrote about the Utah crash on Twitter.
What’s actually amazing about this accident is that a Model S hit a fire truck at 60mph and the driver only broke an ankle. An impact at that speed usually results in severe injury or death.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 14 May 2018
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