Tesla on Autopilot crashes into parked police auto

30 May, 2018, 16:32 | Author: Barbara Daniel
  • 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

Authorities say a Tesla sedan in Autopilot mode has crashed into a parked police cruiser in Laguna Beach, Southern California.

Sgt Jim Cota, the public information officer for the Laguna Beach police department who tweeted about the incident, told The Guardian that the SUV was a "complete total loss", and that the Tesla's front end was "pretty beat up".

Tesla has repeatedly emphasised that the autopilot system is only meant to assist, not replace, an alert human driver, and requires drivers to agree that they understand how to use it before it can be activated. The impact resulted in the Tesla driver suffering minor injuries, while the police vehicle was unoccupied.

"Thankfully there was not an officer at the time in the police auto", Laguna police Sgt. Jim Cota told the LA Times.

Tesla repeats time and time again that it's autopilot mode is not driverless functionality under a different name. 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, the company openly views its navigation software as an "assist mode", meant to ease the burden of long stretches of motorway, rather than a replacement for human navigation.

The inquiry was the second by the safety agency involving Tesla's autopilot feature. Tesla has said that while its autopilot system is supposed to help detect nearby vehicles and avoid collisions, it shouldn't be used in areas with intersections, stop signs, red lights or suddenly changing traffic patterns. A Tesla driving in Autopilot hit a stationary fire engine in Utah in May.

But consumer watchdog groups say Tesla's use of the word "autopilot" in its branding and marketing is misleading.

The chief executive of Tesla, Elon Musk, has previously complained abut media attention on Tesla crashes.

A Greek police official said on Tuesday that no other vehicle was involved in the Friday-night accident in northern Greece and no one was injured.

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