Tesla Autopilot Function Still Has Issues for Drivers … and Parked Cars
Tesla has not yet found a way to perfect its Autopilot function. Far from it, in fact.
This time, a Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) Model 3 — using Autopilot — smacked into a parked police car on I-95 near Norwalk, Connecticut, last weekend, according to a Bloomberg report.
The patrol car was pulled over to help a disabled SUV in the left-center lane of the interstate, according to a police report with the Connecticut State Police.
In a Facebook post, the state police wrote it was important “when operating a vehicle, your full attention is required at all times to ensure safe driving.” They went on to say “although a number of vehicles have some automated capabilities, there are no vehicles currently for sale that are fully automated or self-driving.”
The report said the Tesla was traveling in the same lane as the police car. The Model 3 hit the cruiser, causing “heavy” damage before also damaging the bumper of the disabled Jeep. The driver told police he engaged his autopilot and he was turned away from the steering wheel at the time of the accident.
It’s not the first time Tesla has had issues with the Autopilot function in its vehicles.
In September, a Utah driver filed suit against the carmaker after her Model S, engaged in Tesla Autopilot mode, hit a stopped fire truck at a red light in the Salt Lake City suburb of South Jordan.
Last year, a Tesla Model S rear-ended another fire truck on a highway in Southern California. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began an investigation into that crash — despite the fact no one was injured.
The company has also been hit over its Smart Summon feature when Tesla owners videoed snags in the software, which caught the attention of the NHTSA.
The Smart Summon feature allows a driver to hail their car from a location, like a parking lot, and have the car drive to them.
A Bloomberg report said the government agency “will not hesitate to act” if it finds evidence of a safety defect in the summoning program.
Shares of Tesla jumped on early trading Tuesday after closing Monday at $339.53, and were up about 2.4% 45 minutes before the closing bell.
Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was found not guilty of defaming and British cave explorer who said he was branded a pedophile after Musk called him “pedo guy” in a tweet.
Representatives of Tesla did not respond to Bloomberg’s report of the Autopilot crash in Connecticut.