Another Tesla Crashed While Reportedly in Autopilot Mode

Tesla says it has no evidence the car was in autopilot, but authorities are investigating
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2016 2:36 PM CDT
Another Tesla Crashed While Reportedly in Autopilot Mode
A Tesla Model X, like this one seen at a car show in Beijing, crashed last week on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Police say the driver was using its autopilot feature.   (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Tesla's autopilot feature may have been involved in a second crash the day after the federal government launched an investigation into the feature following the first such crash, the Detroit Free Press reports. Art gallery owner Albert Scaglione was driving his 2016 Tesla Model X on the Pennsylvania Turnpike with his son-in-law on July 1 when he hit a guardrail, crossed multiple lanes of traffic, hit a concrete median, and rolled over. Both Scaglione and his son-in-law survived. A police officer who responded to the scene says Scaglione told him he was using the vehicle's autopilot feature at the time of the crash. It's the same feature a man in Florida—who may or may not have been distracted by a Harry Potter DVD—was using during a fatal crash in May.

There's no evidence the autopilot feature malfunctioned on the notoriously unforgiving Pennsylvania Turnpike, and Tesla disputes whether Scaglione was even using the feature during the crash, the Star reports. According to WXYZ, the company says it has no evidence the car was in autopilot and the 77-year-old Scaglione appears to be ignoring their calls. Authorities are continuing to investigate the crash. Tesla states its autopilot feature is only meant to assist drivers, who still need to keep their hands on or near the steering wheel. But videos posted to YouTube feature Tesla drivers showing off the feature by driving hands-free, even climbing into their car's backseat. (More Tesla stories.)

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