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Wednesday
May302018

Tesla on Autopilot crashes into parked police car

Laguna Beach PD(ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.) -- A Tesla driver in California was driving in Autopilot mode when the car slammed into a parked police car, adding to a fast-growing list of recent autopilot-involved accidents.

The Laguna Beach Police Department in Orange County, California, tweeted images from the scene on Tuesday, showing one of its SUVs smashed and missing a rear wheel after a Tesla sedan rammed it off the roadway.

Police have not released many details on the crash, but did say the Tesla driver sustained minor injuries and that the patrol car was parked and unoccupied at the time.

Investigators said Autopilot was engaged at time but are still working to determine the exact cause of the accident.

A Tesla spokesperson issued a statement afterward, reiterating previous warnings about the limitations of the company's semi-autonomous features.

"When using Autopilot, drivers are continuously reminded of their responsibility to keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control of the vehicle at all times," the spokesperson said Tuesday.

"Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot doesn't make the car impervious to all accidents," the spokesperson added, "and before a driver can use Autopilot, they must accept a dialogue box which states that 'Autopilot is designed for use on highways that have a center divider and clear lane markings.'"

The Laguna Beach crash is the latest in a string of similar accidents.

A 28-year-old Utah woman was driving in Autopilot earlier this month when she slammed her Tesla Model S into the back of a stopped fire truck while cruising at about 60 mph, police said. The drivers escaped with minor injuries, but the Tesla was barely recognizable.

That crash came just two months after a Bay Area man died when his Tesla Model X slammed into a concrete barrier, according to ABC California station KABC. The victim, a father of two and an engineer at Apple, was driving in Autopilot at the time, authorities said.

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