Tesla Model S with Autopilot on crashes into police vehicle

Tesla Model S with Autopilot on crashes into police vehicle

Tesla Model S with Autopilot on crashes into police vehicle

The driver of a Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) Model S crashed into an unoccupied, parked police vehicle in Laguna Beach, California, on Tuesday and the driver told investigators the Tesla was in "Autopilot" mode at the time, police said.

Laguna Beach Sergeant Jim Cota said on Twitter that the cop vehicle was unmanned at the time of the impact, while the Tesla driver sustained minor injuries. The driver, he said, also pointed to the Autopilot system as being engaged.

[Police Sgt. Jim Cota] said the luxury electric vehicle crashed in nearly the same place as another Tesla about a year ago. "Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot doesn't make the auto impervious to all accidents". The police cruiser was parked, and luckily no officers were inside when the Model S rammed into it.

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.

Tesla says it's warned drivers NOT to rely on the system and to remain alert while it's engaged. The driver, Walter Huang, died after being taken to the hospital.

However, last week Tesla settled a lawsuit alleging the semi-autonomous autopilot feature was "essentially unusable and demonstrably unsafe".

Among accidents to make headlines was a fiery March crash in California that involved its "Autopilot" feature. Drivers are also "continuously reminded" of the need to keep hands on the wheel at all times, the company added.

The scene of the accident involving a Tesla vehicle running in autopilot mode in Laguna Beach, California on May 29th, 2018.

Tesla chief Elon Musk complained in a recent earnings call that accidents involving self-driving cars get sensational headlines while the potential for the technology to save lives is downplayed or ignored.

The crash has similarities to other incidents, including a fatal crash in Florida where the driver's "over-reliance on vehicle automation" was determined as a probable cause.

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