Tesla ‘on autopilot’ smashes into parked police vehicle

Tesla in Autopilot mode crashes into parked Laguna Beach police cruiser

Tesla in Autopilot mode crashes into parked Laguna Beach police cruiser

A Tesla sedan in autopilot mode has crashed into a parked police SUV in Laguna Beach, with the Tesla driver suffering minor injuries.

Police Sgt. Jim Cota says the officer was not in the cruiser during the crash Tuesday in Laguna Beach. He said the Tesla driver suffered minor injuries. The 29-year-old motorist also told police she was checking her phone to compare different routes at the time of the accident.

Tesla has said the use of Autopilot results in 40 percent fewer crashes, a claim the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration repeated in a 2017 report on the first fatality, which occurred in May 2016.

A Tesla also rammed into a fire truck on the scene of an accident in Culver City, Calif.in January, with the driver telling authorities that the vehicle was on autopilot at the time.

Tuesday's collision marks the latest in a string of crashes involving vehicles with Autopilot activated.

Sgt. Cota said there was another collision in the same area a year ago, when a Tesla crashed into a semi-truck. "It's super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the ~40,000 people who died in USA auto accidents alone in past year get nearly no coverage", Musk wrote about the Utah crash on Twitter.

"Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot doesn't make the auto impervious to all accidents".

On May 11, a Model S crashed into a fire department vehicle in Utah.

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

Tesla has repeatedly said drivers must be attentive, keep their hands on the wheel, and be able to take control of the vehicle when using Autopilot, which is not a fully autonomous system. Tesla updated Autopilot following that accident. Since March, a driver died when his Model X SUV hit the center divider in Mountain View, Calif., while in Autopilot mode.

Tesla has said the function is not created to avoid a collision and warns drivers not to rely on it entirely.

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