- The driver of a Tesla Model S that collided with a fire department vehicle in Utah last week told police that she had Autopilot engaged at the time of the crash.
- The South Jordan Police Department told news outlets on Monday that the driver, a 28-year-old woman, had been looking at her phone before the crash, during which the Tesla was travelling at highway speeds.
- Tesla says it is cooperating with the investigation.
- This is the latest in a series of Tesla crashes in recent months involving the company’s semi-autonomous driving Autopilot feature.
The woman driving a Tesla Model S that collided with a fire department vehicle in Utah on Friday told police that Autopilot was engaged at the time, and that she had been using her phone just before impact.
The vehicle was travelling at highway speed, and according to the Associated Press, it had not slowed down before the collision. The driver suffered a broken ankle.
Tesla says it is cooperating with the South Jordan Police Department in Utah in the ongoing investigation. “Tesla has not yet received any data from the car and thus does not know the facts of what occurred, including whether Autopilot was engaged,” a company spokesperson told Business Insider via email on Monday.
The electric-car company has taken pains to remind drivers about the limitations of Autopilot – including that the technology cannot drive the vehicle by itself, and that drivers are required to keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times.
Autopilot will initiate multiple warnings that escalate in severity if the driver’s hands are not on the steering wheel. If the driver does not respond, Autopilot will disengage automatically.
This is latest in a number of Tesla crashes that have made headlines in recent months. Some of those incidents involved vehicles that had the electric-car company’s semi-autonomous driving Autopilot feature engaged.
A man driving a Model X SUV died after his car hit a highway barrier and caught fire in Mountain View, California.
Two teens travelling in a Model S were killed in Fort Lauderdale earlier this month when their vehicle crashed into a concrete wall and caught fire. It was unclear whether Autopilot was engaged in that incident.
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