The Autopilot technology behind Tesla's flagship models that allows it to drive itself may not be perfect yet and Laguna Beach Police Department find out the hard way. A Tesla in Autopilot mode crashed into a Laguna Beach police cruiser around 11:07 a.m. at 20652 Laguna Canyon Road.
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Laguna Police Sgt. Jim Cota said the officer was not in the cruiser at the time of the crash but the driver of the Tesla received minor injuries. The owner of the Tesla refused to be transported to the hospital. Sgt. Cota said, "Thankfully there was not an officer at the time in the police car. The police car is totaled."
Sgt. Cota recalled a similar collision involving a Tesla running into a semi-truck last year in the same area. "Why do these vehicles keep doing that?" Cota said. "We're just lucky that people aren’t getting injured." The Autopilot driver-assist feature has been under intense scrutiny after recent collisions, some of them even fatal. Earlier this month, a Tesla driver in Utah crashed while on Autopilot as she looked for her phone.
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A fatal crash involving Autopilot occurred in California in March of this year and another person was killed in a 2016 crash in Florida. Elon Musk's Tesla is located in Palo Alto, California and has repeatedly warned drivers to stay alert, keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control of their vehicle even while Autopilot is engaged.
A spokesman for the car manufacturer said, "Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot doesn’t make the car impervious to all accidents, 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."
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