A Tesla driver is blaming his autopilot for crashing his Model S into a parked fire truck.
However, reports indicate that the driver may be largely to blame.
A Tesla Model S slammed into the back of a parked fire truck at 8:30 a.m. on Monday while traveling southbound on Interstate 405 in Culver City California. The driver was using the car’s semi-autonomous Autopilot mode.
Luckily, nobody was in the firetruck when it was struck by the car. The Tesla driver walked away with no apparent injuries.
"While working a freeway accident this morning, Engine 42 was struck by a #Tesla traveling at 65 mph,” wrote the Culver City Fire Department on their Twitter. “The driver reports the vehicle was on autopilot. Amazingly there were no injuries! Please stay alert while driving!”
While working a freeway accident this morning, Engine 42 was struck by a #Tesla traveling at 65 mph. The driver reports the vehicle was on autopilot. Amazingly there were no injuries! Please stay alert while driving! #abc7eyewitness #ktla #CulverCity #distracteddriving pic.twitter.com/RgEmd43tNe— Culver City Firefighters (@CC_Firefighters) January 22, 2018
The fire truck was parked in the emergency lane after responding to a previous accident and blocking the lane. The truck had its lights on to notify other drivers.
The Tesla was basically totaled after slamming into the truck while the firetruck required minor bodywork, according to Culver City Fire Department battalion chief Ken Powell.
“It was a pretty big hit,” Powell told the San Jose Mercury News.
Firefighters advised the driver of the Tesla to have a medical evaluation, however, he refused, showing no signs of injury.
Speaking on the accident, a Tesla spokesperson provided the standard response to such accidents caused by the car’s autopilot functions: “Autopilot is intended for use only with a fully attentive driver.”
The Tesla Model S made headlines since 2016 when a driver was killed after the car’s autopilot caused him to crash into a semi-truck.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigated the accident concluded everyone shared some blame in a 500-page report: the truck driver for failing to yield, the Tesla driver for relying on autopilot too much, and Tesla, for allowing the autopilot feature to be used on roads unsuitable for such technology.
The NTSB is investigating the current crash.