Tesla Autopilot blamed for crash with parked police vehicle

Tesla in Autopilot mode crashes into parked Laguna Beach police cruiser

A Tesla sedan in Autopilot mode struck a parked Laguna Beach Police Department vehicle Tuesday morning

A Tesla driver suffered only minor injuries Tuesday after her sedan crashed into a parked Laguna Beach police auto while in autopilot mode, officials said. The police cruiser was empty of officers at the time of the crash.

The driver suffered minor injuries and told police the vehicle was using its driver-assisting Autopilot mode.

Cota wrote that the vehicle had Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot feature activated when it crashed into a parked police department vehicle.

Tesla, asked about the accident, noted that drivers are not supposed to rely exclusively on Autopilot.

The police cruiser, owned by the Laguna Beach Police Department, was apparently "totaled" by the incident, as reported by the Los Angeles Times - though the officer in charge of the cruiser was not inside at the time.

"Human error behind the wheel has been replaced with human error behind keyboard".

Whether an Autopilot feature was engaged when a Model S collided with the rear of a stopped fire truck in the U.S. state of Utah on May 11 remained to be confirmed.

Tesla, in its defence, repeated its previous statements about Autopilot being an assistant rather than a replacement for the human. The company describes it as being a "driver assistance system".

In March, Apple engineer Walter Huang was killed in a crash after his Tesla X crashed in Mountain View, Cali., although Tesla blamed the crash on Huang not paying attention to the road despite multiple warnings from the vehicle to do so.

Earlier in May, the NTSB opened a probe into an accident in which a Model S caught fire after crashing into a wall at a high speed in Florida.

Elon Musk's tetchy mood of late is unlikely to be lightened by the latest report of a Tesla crash. 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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