A Tesla vehicle on autopilot reportedly hit a state police cruiser on the highway in Connecticut over the weekend, according to authorities.
WFSB.com reports that a Tesla Model 3 vehicle hit a state police cruiser on the I-95 in Norwalk, Connecticut, over the weekend. The crash reportedly took place in the early morning hours as troopers were responding to a disabled vehicle in the left-center lane of the highway.
As troopers responded to the disabled vehicle, which had its emergency lights activated, a Tesla Model 3 crashed into the back of one of the police cruisers. The driver of the vehicle told troopers that he put his car on autopilot as he checked on his dog in the back seat before the crash occurred.
The driver was given a misdemeanor summons for Reckless Driving and Reckless Endangerment. State police said in a statement: “According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, although a number of vehicles have some automated capabilities, there are no vehicles currently for sale that are fully automated or self-driving.”
Tesla vehicles have been involved in a number of autopilot related crashes in recent years. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been praising the company’s autopilot system for some time, claiming that the company will have 1 million automated robotaxis on the road by next year. Others, however, have claimed that Tesla vehicles are nowhere close to fully self-driving and claim that Musk is giving drivers false faith in the vehicles autopilot system, which is similar to advanced cruise control.
In May of this year, a Tesla Model 3 vehicle was involved in a crash in Delray Beach, Florida. The NTSB stated that a Model 3 vehicle struck a truck connected to a semitrailer on March 1st. According to the report, the roof of the Model 3 vehicle “was sheared off as the vehicle underrode the semitrailer” and the 50-year-old driver was killed.
The NTSB report states:
Preliminary data from the vehicle show that the Tesla’s Autopilot system — an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) that provides both longitudinal and lateral control over vehicle motion — was active at the time of the crash. The driver engaged the Autopilot about 10 seconds before the collision. From less than 8 seconds before the crash to the time of impact, the vehicle did not detect the driver’s hands on the steering wheel.
A Tesla spokesperson stated that according to the company’s logs, the driver engaged Autopilot just 10 seconds before the accident and “immediately removed his hands from the wheel.” The spokesperson added that “we are deeply saddened by this accident and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy. Our data shows that, when used properly by an attentive driver who is prepared to take control at all times, drivers supported by Autopilot are safer than those operating without assistance.”