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Tesla in Autopilot Mode Crashes Into Police Car

It was 2nd autopilot crash in same spot
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2018 3:18 AM CDT
Tesla on Autopilot Slams Into Police Car
This photo provided by the Laguna Beach Police Department shows a Tesla sedan, left, that was in Autopilot mode when it crashed into a parked police cruiser on Tuesday in Laguna Beach, Calif.   (Laguna Beach Police Department via AP)

(Newser) – A Tesla in autopilot mode created yet more unfortunate headlines for the company when it slammed into a police cruiser in Laguna Beach, Calif., on Tuesday. Police say the patrol vehicle was totaled but it was thankfully unoccupied at the time of the crash, KTLA reports. A Tesla in semi-autonomous mode hit a semi-truck in the exact same area last year, and police say they're looking into whether lane markings or other features in the area are creating difficulties for the technology. "Why do these vehicles keep doing that? We're just lucky that people aren't getting injured," a Laguna Beach Police sergeant tells the Los Angeles Times.

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The Tesla driver, a 65-year-old man, suffered minor injuries but refused transportation to the hospital, police say. Tesla stresses that the self-driving technology should only be used when the driver is alert and has both hands on the wheel. "Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot doesn't make the car impervious to all accidents, and before a driver can use Autopilot, they must accept a dialogue box which states that 'Autopilot is designed for use on highways that have a center divider and clear lane markings,'" the company said in a statement. In Greece, meanwhile, police say an American driver involved in an accident Friday night claims his Tesla suddenly malfunctioned while in Autopilot mode, the AP reports. (After a fatal Autopilot mode crash in March, Tesla said the driver's hands were not on the wheel.)

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