A Tesla vehicle on Autopilot has crashed right into a police automobile stopped on the highway just because the automaker is being investigated for similar crashes.
Earlier this month, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it’s opening an investigation into Tesla Autopilot over its possible involvement in 11 crashes with emergency and first responder vehicles.
The crashes all involve stopped emergency vehicles, like police cars and fire trucks, on the side of the road.
Autopilot is a collection of driver-assist features that mainly enable Tesla vehicles to remain of their lane and adapt cruise control to traffic speed on the highway.
Drivers using the features are asked to maintain their hands on the steering wheel and be able to take control in any respect times.
The system has been known to have issues detecting and stopping for stationary objects on the side of the road, and not only emergency vehicles – though those are more often stopped on the highway, where Autopilot will be activated.
NHTSA is specializing in emergency vehicles after the frequency of crashes involving those vehicles and Tesla vehicles on Autopilot appear to have increased recently.
Out of the 11 crashes mentioned of their investigation announcement, 4 happened in 2021.
Now adding to the situation, a brand new crash involving a Tesla vehicle reportedly on Autopilot and a police automobile happened over the weekend in Florida.
The Associated Press reported:
A Tesla using its partially automated driving system slammed right into a Florida Highway Patrol cruiser Saturday on an interstate near downtown Orlando and narrowly missed its driver, who had pulled over to help a disabled vehicle.
In keeping with the report, the officer responding to the disabled vehicle was unharmed while the 27-year-old Tesla driver and the driving force of the stopped vehicle each suffered minor injuries.
The brand new crash is more likely to add to the pressure and scrutiny that Tesla is under over the investigation.
Following the announcement of the NHTSA investigation, US senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Ed Markey (D-MA), who’ve each previously been critical of Tesla’s Autopilot, contacted the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to alert them of what they are saying are misleading claims by Tesla regarding Autopilot and its Full Self-Driving package.