Tesla Model S on Autopilot smashed into a firetruck

Alicia Cross
January 24, 2018

"Auto towed (no it didn't drive itself to the tow yard)". Tesla hasn't confirmed whether the auto was on autopilot as the driver claims, but a representative told SFGate that "autopilot is intended for use only with a fully attentive driver". He was promptly arrested and police determined the man had a blood alcohol content that was more than twice the legal limit.

It's a modern-day high-tech road warrior's worst nightmare: Your autopilot vehicle crashes your auto-piloted self into another car, or truck, or wall. It raises the question of how involved drivers will be behind the wheel when fully autonomous technology inevitably takes off.

Maybe-but for now, that hardly matters. Tesla classifies Autopilot it as a "driver assistance system" and not "autonomous driving". At the time, the NTSB criticised Tesla amongst other vehicle makers for measuring driver awareness by tracking steering wheel movement.

No one was injured in the crash, and the driver was arrested even though he claimed the autopilot was engaged and was driving for him, The Washington Post reported.

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NTSB previously found that aspects of Tesla's "Autopilot" were a factor in the 2016 fatal crash in Williston, Florida that killed 40-year-old Joshua Brown (Details here).

Since that incident, Tesla has changed the Autopilot system so that, if a driver repeatedly ignores such warnings, the system will stop functioning and will be prevented from restarting for the duration of the trip.

Despite the warnings, Tesla has been accused in the past of making Autopilot seem like a safer feature than it actually is.

"It's pretty quick that we get those calls", Officer Vu Williams of the California Highway Patrol's San Francisco division told the newspaper.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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