Tesla in 'Autopilot' mode crashes into parked police vehicle
Tesla in 'Autopilot' mode crashes into parked police vehicle
Reallllly bad look for Tesla- one of its top-of-the-line sedans smashed into a police car while it was in the much maligned autopilot mode
30 May, 2018, 13:29
Several crashes and fire incidents involving Tesla vehicles this year has been a near constant headache for Chief Executive Elon Musk, who boasts that his company's vehicles are among the safest in the industry.
"Thankfully there was not an officer at the time in the police auto", Laguna police Sgt. Jim Cota told the LA Times.
The police department vehicle was empty at the time of the collision, while the driver of the Tesla Model S sustained minor injuries.
Sgt. Cota said there was another collision in the same area a year ago, when a Tesla crashed into a semi-truck. "Why do these vehicles keep doing that?"
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Tesla's autopilot system uses sensors, cameras, and radar to study the vehicle's surroundings and carry out automatic functions which include emergency braking. "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 United States auto accidents alone in past year get nearly no coverage", Musk wrote about the Utah crash on Twitter. In both cases, Tesla says it can tell from its logs that drivers were either distracted or ignored the car's warnings to take control.
However, last week Teslasettled a lawsuit alleging the semi-autonomous autopilot feature was "essentially unusable and demonstrably unsafe". Since March, a driver died when his Model X SUV hit the center divider in Mountain View, Calif., while in Autopilot mode.
Earlier this month, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it was sending a team to investigate the crash of a Tesla vehicle in South Jordan, Utah. However, there's a definite trend emerging of Tesla vehicles colliding with stationary vehicles, which raises obvious questions about the system's real-world safety, and whether Tesla needs to do more to ensure drivers aren't overly reliant on a system that they describe as being in beta.
Launched in late 2015, Tesla's Autopilot feature is meant to "relieve drivers of the most tedious and potentially unsafe aspects of road travel" and includes standard safety features like automatic emergency braking and collision warnings, but it is not meant to replace navigation by a human driver.
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