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Tesla Crashes Into Fire Truck While Reportedly on Autopilot

24 January, 2018, 11:19 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • Tesla Crashes Into Fire Truck While Reportedly on Autopilot

A Tesla Model S electric auto crashed into the back of a fire engine in California after its driver apparently let the vehicle's Autopilot system take over.

It happened shortly before 9 a.m. while crews were responding to an accident on the 405 Freeway near Washington Boulevard.The union representing Culver City firefighters tweeted that the southbound Tesla driver said he had been using Tesla's Autopilot system, which performs automated driving tasks. The driver claimed that the vehicle was in its semi-autonomous Autopilot mode when the accident occurred. Although the Tesla was traveling at 65 miles per hour, "Amazingly there were no injuries!" the fire fighters said in a tweet.

Tesla plans for its autopilot system to one day be truly autonomous - meaning drivers can expect their Tesla to be fully self-driving, like a chauffeur. It warns drivers not to delegate responsibility for watching the road to the onboard computer.

In the past, NTSB testing found that Tesla's Autopilot system "avoided crashes for the majority of rear-end scenarios", but while the NHTSA decided Autopilot wasn't responsible for the fatal 2016 crash, the NTSB believed it was a contributing factor.


Tesla's autopilot system, however, is still progressing and requires drivers to be prepared to grab the wheel and react to circumstances at all times. The safety board did note in its report that the introduction of Tesla's Autosteer software had cut collisions by 40 per cent. Lights on the vehicles were also flashing.

"Autopilot is intended for use only with a fully attentive driver", a Tesla spokesperson told The Washington Post.

Tesla notes that it continually underscores to drivers that they need to pay attention and keep control of their auto.

Tesla has since beefed up the alerts the vehicle will give a driver if it feels they aren't paying full attention to the road.

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