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Tesla in Autopilot Mode Crashes Into Parked Police Car in California

30 May, 2018, 20:31 | Author: Kristi Dunn
  • 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

A Tesla sedan set to autopilot mode crashed into a parked Laguna Beach Police Department vehicle in Laguna Beach, Calif., authorities said.

Photos of the incident were tweeted by Laguna Beach Police Department Public Information Sergeant Jim Cota on Tuesday (this morning United Kingdom time). All the same, as accidents go, crashing into a parked police vehicle isn't ideal PR for Tesla especially, as USA Today notes, this was in nearly exactly the same spot as another Tesla Autopilot accident from a year earlier. The police SUV had damage to the driver's side, the photos showed.

It has also emerged that a Tesla Model 3 driver has blamed Autopilot for a crash in Greece last Friday, in which the auto suddenly veered right "without warning".

After probing a fatal crash in 2016, the NTSB said "system safeguards were lacking" and Autopilot allowed the driver to misuse the technology. "Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot doesn't make the vehicle impervious to all accidents". The 29-year-old motorist also told police she was checking her phone to compare different routes at the time of the accident.

Elon Musk's tetchy mood of late is unlikely to be lightened by the latest report of a Tesla crash.

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In April, Bloomberg reported that safety advocates were becoming increasingly sceptical of Tesla's claims that autopilot mode reduced crashes by 40 per cent, saying the company was misrepresenting National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data that itself was not fully released to the public.

The National Transportation Safety Board is also probing four Tesla crashes that have occurred since previous year, including three under review by NHTSA.

The crash comes as Tesla has been facing scrutiny involving Autopilot.

For its part, Tesla reiterated that it "continuously" reminds Autopilot users that they need to keep their hands on the steering wheel.

Following a deadly Model S crash earlier this month, Tesla once again said Autopilot is not meant to replace the driver.

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