Tesla in Self-Drive Mode Slams into Police Car in Orange County

Self-Driving Tesla Crashes into Parked Patrol Vehicle

A in self-driving mode crashed into a parked police car in Orange County, , on the same day Elon Musk's substantial pay package was approved at Tesla's annual shareholders meeting in Austin, .

Tesla Model S Incident Details

Early Thursday morning, a Fullerton Police Department officer was managing traffic on Orangethorpe Avenue due to a fatal DUI crash involving a motorcyclist. Around midnight, the officer noticed a Tesla approaching and not slowing down. He managed to jump out of the way just in time before the Tesla slammed into his patrol vehicle, causing significant damage to the front end of the police car. The officer was not injured in the incident.

Driver Distractions and Consequences

The Fullerton Police Department spokesperson confirmed that the Tesla was in self-drive mode and the driver admitted to being on their cellphone at the time of the crash. It remains unclear whether the driver will face any citations for the incident.

Background on the DUI Crash

The fatal crash that the officer was responding to involved a motorcyclist who was struck by a suspected DUI driver while stopped at a red light. The motorcyclist, described as an adult male, was killed in the collision. The suspected DUI driver was arrested for DUI and driving without a license.

EVXL's Take

This incident raises significant concerns about the reliability of self-driving technology and the responsibilities of drivers to remain attentive even when using such features. While advancements in autonomous driving promise greater safety and convenience, this crash underscores the importance of human oversight. Tesla's self-driving technology, although innovative, still requires drivers to stay engaged and alert. As the industry continues to evolve, both manufacturers and regulators must work together to ensure that autonomous systems enhance safety without compromising responsibility.

Photo courtesy of OC Hawk / KTLA.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of EVXL.co, where he covers all electric vehicle-related news, covering brands such as Tesla, Ford, GM, BMW, Nissan and others. He fulfills a similar role at the drone news site DroneXL.co. Haye can be reached at haye @ evxl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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