A Tesla car traveling in “autopilot” mode collided with a Florida traffic police car near the city of Orlando on Tuesday, missing only slightly its police officer, who was walking on the side of the road to help a stuck vehicle. Read more in Calcalist: US investigates Tesla accidents: Suspicion that “autopilot” does not detect emergency vehicles parked Fatal accident for Tesla car: “Riding an autopilot” Israeli researchers stopped Tesla by projecting a figure on the road
Earlier this month, the U.S. government launched an official investigation into Tesla’s semi-automatic driving system, following a series of accidents with parked emergency vehicles.
2 View the gallery Tesla car involved in accident (Photo: Florida Highway Patrol)
The policeman whose car was hit shortly before 5 a.m. Saturday turned on the flashing lights of his vehicle and was on his way to the stuck vehicle when the Tesla hit the left side of the vehicle and collided with the other vehicle, a traffic police spokeswoman said. The stuck man suffered minor injuries, and the policeman was not injured. Tesla’s autopilot is often misused by its owners, and many have been caught by police driving drunk and even sitting in the back seat. The electric car maker uses a radar camera-based computer system to detect obstacles, determine their location, and then decide what they are. Researchers, however, believe the system has a problem with parked emergency vehicles and trucks crossing the sidewalk.
2 View the gallery The damaged car (Photo: Florida Highway Patrol)
Two weeks ago, the US Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation against Tesla after a series of 11 accidents that have occurred since 2018, in which the car’s autopilot or cruise control resulted in damage to vehicles with flashing lights and illuminated traffic lights. In these accidents 17 people were injured and one was killed. An investigation by the authority may lead to the recall of the vehicles or other enforcement actions. The National Transportation Safety Board, which also investigated Tesla’s accidents, recommended that NHTSA and Tesla limit the use of autopilot to areas where it can be operated safely. She also recommended that Tesla be committed to improving its system to make sure drivers stay alert even when it is running.