Laguna Beach Police Department
Tesla sedan drives itself into a parked police car while in Autopilot
The vehicle totaled the Laguna Beach Police Department cruiser in California
A Tesla sedan had a bad morning, driving into a parked Laguna Beach Police Department (PD) car in California and doing some heavy damage to itself — and the cop vehicle. In Autopilot mode at the time, the dark-colored Sedan smashed into the driver's side of the white squad car, according to Laguna Beach PD which tweeted about the incident.
The call came at about 11:07 am PST to the police department, about the accident which took place on Laguna Canyon Road. The highway runs to Laguna Beach, a community 50 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, where the median income is north of $98,000.
This morning a Tesla sedan driving outbound Laguna Canyon Road in “autopilot" collides with a parked @LagunaBeachPD unit. Officer was not in the unit at the time of the crash and minor injuries were sustained to the Tesla driver. #lagunabeach #police #tesla pic.twitter.com/7sAs8VgVQ3
— Laguna Beach PD PIO (@LBPD_PIO_45) May 29, 2018
The California crash comes just four days after Tesla evangelist You You Xue crashed his Tesla Model 3 in Greece, claiming his car was in Autopilot mode as well. Autopilot is considered a driver's assistance system — but not true autonomy. The mode can, on its own, switch lanes, self-park, move from a freeway to an onramp and keep the car driving at a certain speed. But drivers are expected to take control of the car at all times.
There have been fatalities associated with Tesla's Autopilot including Wei Huang, whose car crashed into a concrete divider in Mountain View, Calif. and then burst into flames, killing Huang in March. That hasn't deterred some Tesla owners from believing their cars can handle the road on their own, like the UK driver who crawled into the passenger seat of his Tesla and earned himself a driving ban in April.
In the case of Laguna Beach PD's squad car, officers were not in vehicle at the time, and the driver of the Tesla only had "minor injuries." He declined to go to the hospital — but the police car? That was totaled, according to the Los Angeles Times.