A Tesla electric car crashed into a police vehicle parked on the side of the road. On the video shot by the police dashcam, we realize that the vehicle, whose automatic pilot was activated, almost killed two police officers.
Our colleagues from WRAL-TV, an American television channel affiliated with NBC, recently obtained the images of the dashcam of a police car of Nash County in North Carolina. In these images, dated August 2020, a Tesla electric car is seen driving into a law enforcement vehicle parked on the side of the road.
On the spot, near the police car, there were two local officers. Both men were knocked to the ground. By reflex, one of the two officers pushed his colleague to the ground, thus avoiding serious injuries. “In an instant, we could have lost a life or several lives. It could have been awful”explains the sheriff of the county of Nash Keith Stone, questioned after the incident.
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Tesla Autopilot would be involved in several accidents
After getting up, the two men are in a police car and drove to where the Tesla electric car stopped. A police officer then helped the driver out of the passenger compartment of his car. After investigation, it turned out that the Autopilot, the automatic pilot developed by Tesla, was activated at the time of the facts.
According to information obtained by WRAL-TV from the police, the United States Department of Transportation is currently investigating a dozen similar incidents involving Tesla cars on autopilot mode. These accidents, scrutinized by the authorities, left one dead and 17 injured. In April 2021, two Americans died in a car accident in Spring, near Houston (Texas). The two victims were in an electric car manufactured by Tesla, a 2019 Model S.
Asked by the local media, Sam Abuelsamid, an expert in autonomous vehicles, believes that drivers are mistaken about the autopilot capabilities. “These are driver assistance systems. These are all systems designed for the driver to watch the road, paying attention to it at all times and, in fact, in the case of the Tesla system, your hands are meant to be behind the wheel.”warns Sam Abuelsamid.
On its site, Tesla abounds in the same direction as the expert and specifies besides that “Autopilot is intended to be used by a fully attentive driver, who has his hands on the wheel and is ready to take over at any time”. Despite these warnings, many motorists take risks with Autopilot. Last May, a Tesla Model S with Autopilot activated had already hit a police car.
Source: WRAL TV