Tesla hits parked California police vehicle; driver blames ‘Autopilot’

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The motive force of a Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) Mannequin S crashed into an unoccupied, parked police car in Laguna Seaside, California, on Tuesday and the motive force advised investigators the Tesla was in “Autopilot” mode on the time, police stated.

The motive force suffered minor accidents, Laguna Seaside Sergeant Jim Cota stated, who posted photographs of the crash scene displaying intensive harm to the entrance finish of the Tesla and the rear facet of the police car.

Autopilot is a semi-autonomous expertise that the corporate says is a type of superior cruise management.

“Tesla has at all times been clear that Autopilot doesn’t make the automotive impervious to all accidents,” the corporate stated in an announcement after the accident and couldn’t instantly verify the motive force’s report that the car was in Autopilot mode.

A number of crashes and fireplace incidents involving Tesla autos this yr has been a close to fixed headache for Chief Govt Elon Musk, who boasts that his firm’s autos are among the many most secure within the business.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) stated it was sending a group to analyze the crash of a Tesla car in South Jordan, Utah. The motive force was touring at 60 miles (97 km) per hour when the Mannequin S smashed into a fireplace truck stopped at a crimson mild, in line with police.

Police in Utah stated information from Tesla confirmed that the motive force enabled Autopilot about 1 minute and 22 seconds earlier than the crash. The report stated she took her palms off the steering wheel “inside two seconds” of participating the system after which didn’t contact the steering wheel for the following 80 seconds, till the crash occurred.

NHTSA can also be investigating a deadly crash in March that concerned a Tesla Mannequin X utilizing Autopilot that struck a freeway divider. The company can also be probing the January crash of a Tesla car apparently touring in Autopilot that struck a parked fireplace truck. Each of these incidents have been additionally in California.

The Nationwide Transportation Security Board can also be probing 4 Tesla crashes which have occurred since final yr, together with three below evaluation by NHTSA.

Tesla’s Mannequin S proprietor’s guide warns some Autopilot capabilities “can not detect all objects and will not brake/decelerate for stationary autos or objects particularly when touring over 50 mph (80 kph)” and when a car forward of the motive force “strikes out of your driving path and a stationary car or object is in entrance of you.”

Reporting by David Shepardson; Modifying by Lisa Shumaker

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