Elon Musk’s car manufacturing company is now facing another controversy after a Tesla sedan was involved in an accident with a parked police car.
At around 11 AM on Tuesday, a Model S Tesla sedan operating in autopilot mode crashed into a parked police car in Laguna Beach, California. The incident reportedly left the driver injured and the police vehicle totaled.
Pictures of the car accident circulated online after Laguna Beach police department public information officer Sgt. Jim Cota tweeted it. During the investigation, it was discovered that the Tesla car was in semi-autonomous mode.
The driver of the Tesla vehicle, who only sustained minor injuries, told the USA Today that he had activated that autopilot mode of the car a few minutes before the impact. The accident was the third in a series of incidents that involves Tesla’s autopilot feature.
“He told us in his own statement he was in driver-assisted mode,” Sgt. Cota was quoted as saying.
Tesla quickly issued a statement about the latest accident. A part of it read:
“When using Autopilot, drivers are continuously reminded of their responsibility to keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control of the vehicle at all times.”
The company also made it clear that the autopilot feature won’t make the car safe from accidents. Furthermore, a driver must always accept a dialogue box which states that “Autopilot is designed for use on highways that have a center divider and clear lane markings” before utilizing the feature.
Just last week, the company settled a lawsuit that claims the autopilot feature was “essentially unusable and demonstrably dangerous.” According to Reuters, the settlement which cost around $5 million USD dropped the usage of the term “dangerous.”
Back in April, safety advocates grew weary of Tesla and its claims that the autopilot feature mode could potentially reduce crashes by around 40 percent.