Tesla’s reputation for semi-autonomous driving was further damaged by a road accident. Fortunately, this accident in the United States did not injure anyone, but involved a police car.
A new accident in Autopilot mode
In 2016, we were talking about the very first fatal accident involving a Tesla vehicle and the Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system. A few months ago, United States Transportation Safety (NHTSA) again implicated the Autopilot in an accident in 2018. On that occasion, it was reminded that it was only a driver assistance system. In other words, the Autopilot should in no way replace the attention of the human driver.
On December 7, 2019, Connecticut state police released a statement on Facebook reporting a new accident, this time between a patrol vehicle and a Tesla Model 3. If the police are still investigating, Tesla did not not yet expressed on the subject. However, one certainty remains: the Tesla was in Autopilot mode.
A reckless driver
In its publication, police refer to the presence of a patrol car parked on an exit near the city of Norwalk. It stopped just behind a broken down vehicle having turned on its hazard warning lights. While all these little people were waiting for the arrival of a tow truck, a Tesla Model 3 hit the back of the police vehicle. The latter was pushed back against the first vehicle to stop a little further.
The Tesla then continued on for several hundred meters before being stopped by a second police car. The driver explained to the officers that she was watching her dog sitting on the passenger side at the time of the collision. The complainant was fined for the offense of reckless driving and endangering the lives of others.
Police recalled that when driving a vehicle, attention should be paid to the road. Also noted was the position of United States Transportation Safety, which has claimed for several years that there is still no fully autonomous vehicle.