Image courtesy of Arizona Department of Safety
John Goreham's picture

Police: Tesla On Autopilot Hits Not One, But TWO Parked First Responder Vehicles

Arizona police say that a Tesla being operated on Autopilot crashed into both a police vehicle and an ambulance.
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For years, Tesla vehicles operated on the company's advanced driver assist system called Autopilot have crashed into stationary objects. Tesla vehicles on Autopilot have crashed into lane separation barriers and numerous trucks. However, one of Autopilot's favorite targets is stopped first responder vehicles.

Tesla vehicles being operated on Autopilot have been reported by police to have crashed into firetrucks and police cars and police SUVs. However, a Tesla police say was being operated on Autopilot this week managed to cause a crash with not one, but two parked first responder vehicles.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety reports on its public Facebook page that the Tesla rear-ended the parked police cruiser. Which then pushed the cruiser into an ambulance working at the scene. Arizona Public Safety reports the following:

"Early today, a sergeant was working a collision scene on EB I-10 near Benson when the driver of a passing Tesla rear-ended his patrol vehicle. The impact caused the patrol vehicle to collide with the back of an ambulance at the scene. Luckily, our sergeant wasn’t in his vehicle at the time and was unharmed, as were the occupants of the ambulance. The driver of the Tesla sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to a hospital."

Shortly after the initial post, Arisona Public Safety added this important tidbit of information: "We can confirm the driver indicated to troopers the Tesla was on autopilot at the time of the collision." There is no word yet whether this particular Tesla was equipped with Tesla's newest "Full Self-Crashing" technology.

Police say that the 23-year old California resident who occupied the Tesla during the crash will be evaluated for driving under the influence. Or perhaps more accurately, being driven in a Tesla operated by Autopilot while under the influence of alcohol.

For a partial list of the many previous crashes Tesla's operating on Autopilot have caused, please see the below clippings list.

January 2020: Second Crash In One Month Of A Tesla Into A Parked Firetruck Results In Fatality
December 2019: Tesla Model 3 On Autopilot Hits Yet Another Police Vehicle - Why Won't They Stop?
August 2018: Third Tesla Crashes Into Back of Firetruck - That's Four Crashes Into Emergency Vehicles This Year
May 2018: Another Tesla On Autopilot Hits Another Emergency Vehicle - You Can't Make This Stuff Up
January 2018: Tesla Police Blotter News - Tesla Driver Hits Parked Firetruck - Blames Autopilot

John Goreham is a life-long car nut and recovering engineer. John's focus areas are technology, safety, and green vehicles. In the 1990s, he was part of a team that built a solar-electric vehicle from scratch. His was the role of battery thermal control designer. For 20 years he applied his engineering and sales talents in the high tech world and published numerous articles in technical journals such as Chemical Processing Magazine. In 2008 he retired from that career to chase his dream of being an auto writer. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on the Torque News Facebook Page, and view his credentials at Linkedin

Image courtesy of Arizona Department of Safety. Posted to the group's public Facebook page July 15th, 2020.


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Comments

Clearly, the Tesla driver is negligent and should be appropriately charged. These "assist" features do not relieve the driver of safely operating the vehicle. Tesla could add a camera to monitor the driver's attentiveness and either turn off autopilot or stop the car when the driver is not actively controlling or monitoring the car. Without those safeguards, Tesla itself should be held accountable for product liability.