Teslas ‘crash with Autopilot engaged’ in California and Greece

Reallllly bad look for Tesla- one of its top-of-the-line sedans smashed into a police car while it was in the much maligned autopilot mode

A Tesla Model S crashed into a parked police vehicle while reportedly driving on autopilot in Laguna Beach, California, injuring the Tesla driver and badly damaging the cop auto.

The Laguna Beach Police Department in Orange County, California, tweeted images from the scene on Tuesday, showing one of its SUVs smashed and missing a rear wheel after a Tesla sedan rammed it off the roadway. While the driver of the vehicle sustained minor injuries, the cruiser was unoccupied at the time of the accident. The police vehicle was a total loss, and the Tesla driver suffered minor injuries.

A Tesla in semi-autonomous mode hit a semi-truck in the exact same area previous year, and police say they're looking into whether lane markings or other features in the area are creating difficulties for the technology. Tesla has previously told drivers that they shouldn't rely on the system, and that they should stay alert while it's engaged.

Tesla's Autopilot is a semi-autonomous system that enables vehicles to drive themselves in certain conditions.

Police Sgt. Jim Cota says the officer was not in the cruiser at the time of the crash Tuesday in Laguna Beach.

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However, the company openly views its navigation software as an "assist mode", meant to ease the burden of long stretches of motorway, rather than a replacement for human navigation.

In March, a Model X crashed into a highway barrier in California. Autopilot might only refer to semi-adaptive cruise control, which maintains speed with the vehicle in front, or it could mean that the Tesla had Autosteer engaged, in which case it would be steering itself based on the road markings.

Elon Musk's tetchy mood of late is unlikely to be lightened by the latest report of a Tesla crash.

The inquiry was the second by the safety agency involving Tesla's autopilot feature. The technology "doesn't make the auto impervious to all accidents", it said.

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