Tesla’s autopilot vehicle crashed into a parked patrol vehicle of Washington’s deputy.
No one was injured, but there was “significant damage” to the vehicle of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, the department said in a statement.
Autopilot is a Tesla system designed to help drivers, but it is not completely autonomous. The Tesla driver said he assumed the car would move on its own, a state patrol said.
The crash happened around 6:40 p.m. in Snohomish County, north of Seattle, and has been involved in the 2015 Tesla Model S, according to a Washington patrol investigating the crash.
The MP reacted to a crashed vehicle and was parked on his shoulder with the emergency lights on when Tesla hit him, the sheriff̵
“It’s a great reminder that vehicles may have autopilot to help, but can’t be relied upon to take you safely from one destination to another,” the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook statement.
The driver has been issued a ticket.
An email to Tesla requesting comment was not returned immediately Monday night. The company says on its website that Autopilot’s current features “require active driver supervision” and are only intended for fully attentive drivers with their hands behind the wheel, ready to take over at any time.
There have been several crashes involving an autopilot, including a fatal crash in Mountain View, California, in 2018, in which the Tesla Model X hit a concrete barrier.
In March 2020, the National Transportation Safety Board blamed the limitations of the Autopilot system – as well as the 38-year-old driver who played a video video game and inattention.
In 2019, a 50-year-old Tesla driver died after his Model 3 crashed into a tractor trailer in Delray Beach, Florida, while using autopilot. The NTSB found that the system was contributing to the crash.