Watch: Tesla on Autopilot crashes into police car
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Dashcam footage shows a Tesla in "Autopilot" mode crash into a police vehicle in August 2020.
Two officers were standing in front of the vehicle, only making a narrow escape as the Tesla Model S brushes past them.
The video shows the Tesla travelling at motorway speeds, with the driver admitting he had been watching a movie on his phone while his car was on autopilot.
According to US media reports, the Tesla driver was a North Carolina doctor named Devainder Goli. He has been reportedly charged with distracted driving and failing to move over for an emergency vehicle.
The event highlights the over-reliance many drivers place on Tesla's so-called “autonomous driving” technology. Most other automakers market their driver assistance systems as supplementary devices, not designed to replace any driver responsibility.
Tesla's Autopilot is a Level 2 drive assist system, similar to what you'd find in most new cars on the market. While the implication is that 'Autopilot' should mean 'self-driving vehicle', the driver is still responsible for driving the vehicle and should always be in control.
Tesla has been accused of overselling the technology and downplaying its limitations, and there have been a number of fatal crashes involving Tesla cars driving on Autopilot.
Tesla, however, says that the company is not to blame for the acts of individual drivers who push the limits of its autonomous driving aids.