Everyone is focused on the Tesla Model X that reportedly killed one Chinese policeman while injuring another in a collision in the Chinese city of Taizhou, in Zhejiang province on Monday. Meanwhile, another Tesla accident was on the opposite side of the world, in Washington state, that struck a police car while operating on “autopilot.”
NBC News reports the 2015 Tesla Model S on “autopilot” plowed into the driver’s side of a Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office vehicle on Saturday evening around 6:40 p.m. in Snohomish County, north of Seattle. Luckily, the deputy nor driver of the Tesla was seriously hurt.
The driver of the Tesla told Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office that he assumed the vehicle would move over on its own before hitting the parked police cruiser on the side of the road. The sheriff’s office noted the Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicle had its emergency lights on when the Tesla struck it.
Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said, “This is a great reminder that vehicles may have autopilot to assist, but it cannot be relied upon to get you safely from one destination to the next.”
You know it. We know it. Everybody knows it: Tesla’s “Autopilot” and “Full Self Driving” names for its supposedly autonomous driving features are misleading. This has led drivers, like a 25-yo man in San Francisco last week, to be arrested by the police for reckless driving after he sat in the backseat of his Tesla while the car piloted itself down Interstate-80. This kind of reckless behavior is made possible by the company mislabeling its driver-assisted modes as full autonomy, causing some people to feel overconfident about the vehicle’s capabilities.
For more on Tesla-involved accidents, visit Tesla Deaths.com.