Tesla Autopilot Strikes Again, This Time Crashing at 65 MPH into a Fire Engine

Tesla Model S fire engine crash 1 photo
Photo: CUlver City FD via Twitter
Just in case you thought 2018 might have fewer Tesla crashes involving the company's advanced cruise control system, the first signs show you might be wrong after all.
Tesla changed the tune on how it promoted its Autopilot feature after the Joshua Brown disaster, putting a lot more emphasis on the how important it is for the driver to remain alert at all times and tweaking the system a little to require more frequent steering wheel inputs from the person behind the wheel.

Even so, a lot of Tesla owners are still under the impression their vehicles can drive themselves, and the results of their confusion often make the news. It's the same with this latest situation reported by the Culver City Firefighters via Twitter involving one of their fire engines and a Tesla Model S.

The good thing about the Californian EVs is that they at least provide excellent crash safety to their gullible drivers whenever they mistakingly overestimate the car's self-driving capabilities. The Joshua Brown incident led to Tesla and Mobileye - its then Autopilot partner - splitting ways, leaving the former to develop the system on its own. The advanced cruise control system was notorious for failing to detect stationary objects (vehicles included), as some videos out there will prove. It would appear the software developer switch did nothing to change that since it managed to miss a pretty big and red fire engine.

However, the only piece of information we have at the moment that suggests the Autopilot was in use is the Culver City FD's tweet, which probably relies on the driver's statements. While all the evidence suggests he might be telling the truth, it wouldn't be the first time somebody did an oopsie in a Tesla and tried to blame it on the car.

Contacted by Electrek, the EV manufacturer did not make any statement regarding the accident, stating once more instead that the Autopilot feature requires the full attention of the driver at all times. With the number of Teslas rolling onto the street at an all-time high - and a recent study showing the EV is the "dream car" of "non-car people" - expect more and situations like this one to pop up. Just pray you won't see them in your rearview mirror.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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