Tesla Driver Slams into Cop Car While Watching Movie on Autopilot
No one was injured at least
A Tesla driver avoided disaster Wednesday morning when he missed hitting a deputy in North Carolina standing outside his cruiser before crashing into patrols cars along a busy highway.
The incident happened in Nash County while the Sheriff's Office and State Highway Patrol vehicles were parked on the side of U.S. Highway 64.
According to the Sheriff’s department Devainder Goli, a doctor from nearby Raleigh, was in the Tesla, watching a movie on his cell phone while his car drove itself in "autopilot mode."
The Tesla collided with the deputy's car first, which then was pushed into the State Highway Patrol car from the impact.
The deputy was conducting a lane closure overnight on U-S 64, near Spring Hope, as a highway patrol trooper investigated a separate crash. Both the deputy and trooper were outside their cars.
"Luckily, the state trooper pushed our deputy out of the way when he heard the tires squall and in an instant, we could have lost a life or several lives. It could have been very horrific," said Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone.
The doctor was charged with a move over violation and viewing a television device while driving.
The Tesla is marketed as having "full self-driving capabilities" and is created using artificial intelligence technology. The autopilot feature is described on Tesla's website as a feature that "enables your car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically within its lane."
But Tesla's website says that Autopilot still requires attention from the driver.
"Current Autopilot features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous," the website said.
“There needs to come a time when we need to understand that automation cannot do everything," said Stone. "It’s not enhancing our safety, and in this situation, it could kill two law enforcement agents.”