A Tesla vehicle operating on autopilot slammed into a Florida police cruiser on a highway near Orlando on Saturday, just days after CEO Elon Musk admitted faults with the experimental self-driving software amid a federal investigation into the system.
The crash happened just before 5 a.m. on Saturday when the trooper had activated his cruiser’s emergency lights on the way to help a disabled vehicle.
The Tesla hit the cruiser on its left side and then collided with the disabled vehicle, highway patrol spokeswoman Lt. Kim Montes told the Orlando Sentinel.
The 27-year-old Tesla “driver” and disabled vehicle driver suffered minor injuries as a result of the crash, according to the report. The state trooper was unhurt.
An email to Tesla seeking comment was not immediately returned.
Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a formal investigation into Tesla’s autopilot system after a series of crashes with parked emergency vehicles.
The agency said it had identified 11 crashes since 2018 in which Teslas on Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control have hit vehicles with flashing lights, flares, an illuminated arrow board or cones warning of hazards.
The investigation covers 765,000 vehicles — or nearly every car that Tesla has sold in the US since the start of the 2014 model year, including the Models Y, X, S and 3, the agency said.
On Monday, Musk acknowledged issues with the company’s latest auto-pilot technology.
“FSD Beta 9.2 is actually not great [in my opinion], but Autopilot/AI team is rallying to improve as fast as possible. We’re trying to have a single stack for both highway & city streets, but it requires massive NN retraining,” Musk said in a tweet.
Dramatic video footage shows a Michigan cop running toward the flaming wreckage of a car – then pulling the dazed driver to safety.
Harper Woods Officer Luke Pauly’s bodycam footage shows him speeding to the near a massive crash on Interstate 94 outside Detroit last Sunday.
Flames blaze and smoke pours from a car in the distance while traffic is at a standstill.
Pauly, 30, then sprints towards the engulfed car as skid marks, twisted metal and debris from the crash are seen scattered across the highway and its shoulder. People along the highway tell Pauly someone’s in a car that apparently flipped in the crash.
“He’s in the car?” Pauly is heard asking bystanders as scorching fire is seen in the distance.
When he gets to the car, a man is seen on the passenger side, reaching over the window to clutch the door handle on the outside. The man was the driver, who Pauly told WDIV may have ended up in the passenger seat by force of the impact.
He was apparently fighting off passing out to try to get away from the blaze as it grew in intensity.
In footage from the camera of another officer, Pauly is seen pulling the man from the wreck by his arms, dragging him across the pavement until he’s a safe distance from the flames. The man was coming in and out of consciousness, reports said.
“I was worried it was gonna blow up,” he told FOX 2. “I never knew that cars don’t explode so it was popping … I think it was from the tires.”
The man is recovering and no one was injured despite the severity of the accident, the station reported.
The officer told WDIV things may have turned out more grim if police arrived even a few minutes later.
“All I could think was perfect timing,” Pauly said. “Glad we got here.”