Tesla allegedly on autopilot smashes into bright red firetruck in California

A Tesla Model S rear-ended a fire truck parked on a freeway in the U.S. on Monday morning but the driver said it wasn't his fault, blaming the state-of-the-art technology instead.

According to Mercury News, the motorist was traveling along Interstate 405 when he crashed into the back of a Culver City Fire Department truck that was parked at the scene of a previous accident.

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According to the tweet, the driver says the vehicle was on Autopilot. The Culver City Firefighters Twitter account tweeted out photos of the crash, stating "Amazingly there were no injuries". While truly driverless cars are still a few years away, Tesla Autopilot functions like the systems that airplane pilots use when conditions are clear. The company has repeatedly warned drivers in its owner's manual for concentrating on the road while exploiting the semi-autonomous Autopilot system.

Moreover, the Autopilot system is not developed to be used with crossing traffic on roads. On the contrary, Autopilot now requires that drivers touch the steering wheel every two minutes. In no way does it excuse the driver from minding the auto he is driving.

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Both emergency vehicles had their lights flashing, Powell added. A subsequent investigation by the US National Transportation Safety Board found the driver was speeding and had been warned by the auto six times to keep his hands on the wheel. Previously, the NTSB linked Tesla's autopilot function to a in Florida in 2016 where a Model S driver died when his auto slid underneath a semi-trailer.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined Tuesday that a truck driver's failure to yield the right of way and a auto driver's inattention due to overreliance on vehicle automation are the probable cause of the fatal May 7, 2016, crash near Williston, Florida. In September the company said, "Autopilot significantly increases safety", citing an earlier government study that suggested the system reduced the incidence of crashes.

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In a separate incident over the weekend, a man was arrested and charged with a DUI after police discovered him passed out behind the wheel of a Tesla vehicle travelling in autopilot mode on the Bay Bridge in California. The investigation following the crash concluded, in part, that Tesla didn't have sufficient safeguards to ensure driver attention while using autopilot.


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