A Tesla collided with a State Soldier’s patrol car and another vehicle on an interstate outside Orlando.
Federal investigators have said the vehicle was in autopilot mode, which may have failed to recognize stalled emergency vehicles by flashing lights.
Tesla has come under criticism for naming the feature, as it does not make cars autonomous.
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A Tesla said in Autopilot mode rammed a state trooper’s patrol car and another vehicle on a highway in Florida early Saturday morning, local media reports.
The Florida Highway Patrol told WKMG ClickOrlando that a Florida state trooper was stopped with his emergency lights on and was trying to help another vehicle stopped on the interstate in Orlando.
The accident report obtained by ClickOrlando states that the Tesla apparently failed to proceed on the interstate as it approached vehicles, eventually hitting both cars and nearly missing the state soldier, who was driving from his patrol car. was out. The report said Tesla had engaged Autopilot.
Tesla did not respond to an insider’s request for comment on the accident.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently investigating Tesla’s driver-assist autopilot feature.
NHTSA has identified more than 11 accidents since 2018 in which a Tesla in Autopilot or “Traffic Aware Cruise Control” mode collided with vehicles at first-responder scenes, according to a document detailing the scope of the investigation. Is.
Insider reported that most of the crashes investigated occurred after dark and involved emergency vehicles with flashing lights, flares, illuminated arrow boards, or even traffic cones.
In April, a car accident outside Houston, Texas killed two people after a Tesla ran off the road.
Insiders said officers at the scene said no one was driving the car and it was suggested that passengers were using Tesla’s Autopilot feature. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that Autopilot was not involved in that incident.
Autopilot automates some highway-driving tasks, but it doesn’t allow cars to fully steer themselves. As the insider reports, Tesla has become critical of Autopilot’s name, which critics say is misleading and invites drivers to abuse it. Tesla also sells other features called “Full Self-Driving Capability,” which doesn’t make the car autonomous.
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