Tesla Model S allegedly in Autopilot hits parked police car

Are Tesla drivers relying on Autopilot a bit too much?
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor on

A Tesla driver claims her Model S was in Autopilot mode when it crashed.

Image: Laguna PD

A Tesla Model S driver is claiming her vehicle was in Autopilot mode when it crashed into a parked police cruiser.

The Model S crash happened in Laguna Beach, CA on Tuesday and resulted in minor injuries to the Tesla driver. The officer wasn't in the police cruiser at the time, according to the police department.

Tesla's Autopilot feature is an advanced driver-assistant feature on the Model S and Model X that features the ability to change lanes, lane centering, adaptive cruise control, and more.

CBS Los Angeles reports:

A Tesla driver suffered only minor injuries Tuesday after her sedan crashed into a parked Laguna Beach police car while in autopilot mode, officials said.

The Tesla sedan was driving southbound on Laguna Canyon Road when it collided with a Laguna Beach Police Department SUV this morning, according to Laguna Beach police Sgt. Jim Cota.

Tesla has maintained Autopilot should not be viewed as a fully autonomous feature. In an April interview, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Autopilot will never be perfect and drivers need to remain alert while driving.

"Well what's the purpose of having autopilot if you still have to put your hands on the wheel, Elon?" interviewer Gayle King asked Musk, who replied, "Oh it, it's because the probability of an accident with autopilot is just less."

Tesla has faced public and federal official scrutiny for releasing details and results from the Model X involved in the Mountain View, CA crash in March. Musk said the NTSB would take too long to release the crash results.

Tesla's report said on the March Autopilot crash: "The driver had received several visual and one audible hands-on warning earlier in the drive and the driver's hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds prior to the collision."

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