Tesla Model S allegedly in Autopilot hits parked police auto

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The drivers escaped with minor injuries, but the Tesla was barely recognizable. The officer wasn't in the police cruiser at the time, according to the police department. Since March, a driver died when his Model X SUV hit the center divider in Mountain View, Calif., while in Autopilot mode. The driver, he said, also pointed to the Autopilot system as being engaged. And another driver in Salt Lake City was injured in a crash when her auto hit a parked fire truck.

Tesla's owners manuals state that the Enhanced Autopilot mode, which partially automates steering and braking, isn't meant to completely take over the role of a human driver, and warns that drivers must still keep their hands on the wheel and pay attention.

[Police Sgt. Jim Cota] said the luxury electric vehicle crashed in nearly the same place as another Tesla about a year ago.

The Center for Auto Safety and Consumer Watchdog said it should be "reasonable" for Tesla owners to believe that their vehicle should be able to drive itself on Autopilot.

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Earlier this year, the National Transportation Safety Board started investigating an accident involving a Tesla Model S that rear-ended a firetruck on a freeway near Los Angeles.

"Human error behind the wheel has been replaced with human error behind keyboard".

On May 11, a Model S crashed into a fire department vehicle in Utah. In the settlement, Tesla will pay the customers $20 to $280 and put $5 million into a fund for lawyers' fees and other costs in the case.

Tesla chief Elon Musk complained in a recent earnings call that accidents involving self-driving cars get sensational headlines while the potential for the technology to save lives is downplayed or ignored. By May, the NHTSA was publicly distancing itself from Tesla's use of the statistic. The company describes it as being a "driver assistance system". The technology "doesn't make the vehicle impervious to all accidents", it said.

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