Last week in Laguna Beach California, a Tesla Sudan driving in Autopilot strayed and hit a parked police car, severely damaging both vehicles. This is one autonomous car incident among several over the past few months.
Police said the Tesla driver sustained minor injuries, and no police officers were in the vehicle at the time of the car accident.
Tesla remains under close examination after facing scrutiny for the company’s malfunctioning Autopilot mode. In March, a Model X SUV hit a safety barrier in Mountain View, California and killed the driver. Another driver in Salt Lake City suffered injuries when her car hit a parked fire truck. The carmaker says autopilot is not made to prevent crashes and cautions drivers to avoid depending on it entirely.
Following the Laguna Beach incident, Tesla released a statement saying: “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.”
The statement included that Tesla “has always been clear that Autopilot doesn’t make the car impervious to all accidents, and before a driver can use Autopilot, they must accept a dialogue box states that ‘Autopilot is designed for use on highways that have a center divider and clear lane markings’.”
Tesla currently faces four active investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board.
One investigation targets a post-crash fire, and the other three focus on the vehicle’s Autopilot function.
Earlier this month, a high-speed crash involving a Tesla Model S in Fort Lauderdale resulted in a fire, killing two local high school seniors. According to witnesses, they could see the two students moving inside the vehicle while it burned. Tesla says autopilot was not on immediately preceding the accident.
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