Early on Wednesday morning, a man watching a movie while his Tesla drove on a North Carolina road on autopilot experienced a big shock when his car rammed into a parked police car, per the Charlotte Observer.
The question over just how safe Tesla’s autopilot feature arises yet again, but, machines only shouldn’t be the ones to blame.
The crash happened on the U.S. 64 highway, near the town of Nashville in North Carolina, 1st Sgt. Jeff Wilson of N.C. State Highway Patrol told McClatchy News.
The deputy’s car was responding to another crash when it was slammed into by Tesla. Both vehicles were totaled and upon impact, the deputy’s car hit a state trooper’s parked car. Luckily, no one was seriously injured.
The driver of the Tesla is being accused of violating the move-over law and watching television while driving. The former states that drivers should drive cautiously while passing parked emergency vehicles.
Devainder Goli of Raleigh, North Carolina, was the driver who wasn’t paying enough attention to what his Tesla was doing.
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This isn’t the first time a Tesla crashes into something while operating on autopilot, just take a look at this Tesla Model 3 that slammed into a truck. However, there are some nicer instances when autopilot successfully maneuvered unpredictable moves on a road.
However, the recent incident in North Carolina does highlight the fact that more attention needs to be given by the drivers operating Teslas on autopilot. It’s not just a matter of switching on the button and becoming entranced by your smartphone screen, completely unaware of the world around you.
Perhaps Tesla needs to rethink some of its marketing strategies around autopilot, to better instruct people on how to use it safely and properly. That said, it’s hard to cater completely to such a wide range of people in the world, there will always be some who don’t adhere to the rules.
In this instance, it was a lucky call that no one was hurt.