The driver of a Tesla sedan has suffered minor injuries after crashing into a parked California police vehicle while in Autopilot mode.
Tesla Crashes Into Police Car While In Autopilot Mode
On Tuesday, May 29, the driver told the investigators that the Tesla Model S semi-autonomous Autopilot mode was activated when it rammed into a parked Laguna Beach police department SUV.
The crash caused extensive damage to the front end of the Tesla and the rear side of the police cruiser as seen in the photos shared by the Laguna Beach Police Department on Twitter.
Luckily, the police SUV was not occupied by the police officer at the time of the collision. However, the driver of the Tesla sedan was treated for minor injuries.
This morning a Tesla sedan driving outbound Laguna Canyon Road in “autopilot” collides with a parked @LagunaBeachPD unit. Officer was not in the unit at the time of the crash and minor injuries were sustained to the Tesla driver. #lagunabeach #police #tesla pic.twitter.com/7sAs8VgVQ3 — Laguna Beach PD PIO (@LBPD_PIO_45) May 29, 2018
Tesla Releases Statement
Shortly after the crash, Tesla released a statement saying that it constantly reminds drivers using the Autopilot system to keep their hands on the steering wheel and maintain control of the vehicle throughout. The Palo Alto-based company said that it has made it clear that the Autopilot mode does not make the car crash-resistant.
"Before a driver can use Autopilot, they must accept a dialogue box which states that 'Autopilot is designed for use on highways that have a center divider and clear lane markings,'" the company added.
Tesla's Autopilot Involved In Other Accidents
The news of the crash comes at a time when Tesla is under intense scrutiny over its driver-assist feature. A series of crashes involving Tesla's Autopilot mode over the last couple of months has become a constant headache for Elon Musk, Tesla CEO.
In March, a Tesla Model X, in an activated the Autopilot feature, crashed into a barrier in California, resulting in the death of the driver. The crash is currently being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.
Earlier this month, the NTSB initiated a probe into an accident in which a Model S erupted in flames after crashing into a wall at a high speed in Florida. The fire claimed the lives of two teenagers but the agency does not believe that Autopilot played a role in the crash.
In a separate incident, the driver of a Tesla electric car had turned on the vehicle's semi-autonomous Autopilot mode when she slammed into the back of a Utah fire truck recently. She later admitted that she was looking at her phone when she collided with the truck.
Last week, a man was killed when the Tesla Model S he was driving veered off a road, crashed through a fence, and then plunged into a pond. However, Tesla said that the autopilot feature was not engaged at the time of the crash.