Tesla on autopilot crashes into parked police SUV in Laguna Beach

ByABC7.com staff KABC logo
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Autopilot Tesla crashes into police SUV in OC
A Tesla sedan in autopilot mode crashed into a parked police vehicle in Laguna Beach, police said.

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A Tesla sedan in autopilot mode crashed into a parked police vehicle in Laguna Beach, police said.

The impact of the crash pushed the police SUV onto a sidewalk and left both vehicles with substantial damage.

The driver of the Tesla sustained minor injuries and the Laguna Beach Police Department unit was unoccupied at the time of the crash.

The crash happened Tuesday morning on Laguna Canyon Road.

Police say the Tesla was driving in autopilot mode when it collided with the parked SUV, but investigators are still examining the cause and circumstances.

Tesla has said that while its autopilot system is supposed to help detect nearby vehicles and avoid collisions, it shouldn't be used in areas with intersections, stop signs, red lights or suddenly changing traffic patterns.

The company also says that while using autopilot, drivers are supposed to keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control of the vehicle at all times.

"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 which states that 'Autopilot is designed for use on highways that have a center divider and clear lane markings,'" a Tesla spokesperson said when asked about the incident.

There have been a series of accidents involving Tesla vehicles on autopilot.

In Utah this month, a Tesla Model S was in autopilot when it slammed into the back of a fire department vehicle that was stopped at a red light. The driver admitted to investigators that she had been looking at her phone while the vehicle was operating on autopilot at 60 mph.

In March, a crash in the Bay Area involving a Tesla Model X in autopilot killed a driver when the vehicle slammed into a concrete barrier.