Tesla in Autopilot self-driving mode crashes into parked police cruiser

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

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

Police in a Southern California coastal town said that a Tesla in autonomous mode hit a patrol auto parked on the side of a road on Tuesday.

The Laguna Beach Police Department in Orange County, California, tweeted images from the scene on Tuesday, showing one of its SUVs smashed and missing a rear wheel after a Tesla sedan rammed it off the roadway. The police officer was not in the SUV at the time of the crash.

"When using Autopilot, drivers are continuously reminded of their responsibility to keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control of the vehicle at all times", Tesla said.

"It's super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the (approximately) 40,000 people who died in United States auto accidents alone in past year get nearly no coverage", Musk said in a tweet in mid-May.

A spokesperson for Tesla told the Times it frequently warns drivers to stay engaged while using the Autopilot mode.


In England, a driver was banned from driving after putting his Tesla in Autopilot on the M1 and sitting in the passenger seat.

That crash came just two months after a Bay Area man died when his Tesla Model X slammed into a concrete barrier, according to ABC California station KABC.

The driverless feature comes packaged as standard in all Tesla vehicles, which the automaker's website describes as having "the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver".

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

Elon Musk's tetchy mood of late is unlikely to be lightened by the latest report of a Tesla crash. The company describes it as being a "driver assistance system". A recent AAA study found that 73 per cent of respondents didn't trust the cars in April 2018, following a string of accidents involving Tesla autopilot as well a lethal accident in March involving a self-driving Uber vehicle.

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