Several German media outlets are reporting this morning on an accident involving a Tesla Model S and a bus on the Autobahn in northern Germany. According to the reports, the Model S was changing lanes using the Autopilot feature and crashed into a bus.
The 50-year-old driver was reportedly “slightly injured” in the accident, but all passengers on the bus were unhurt.
According to one report (German), the driver told the police that the vehicle was doing the steering when the accident occurred.
He was reportedly trying to overtake the bus by moving to the left lane and the crash happened when trying to move back into the right lane.
Update: Another source, who talked with the driver, says that the Model S was driving forward when the crash occurred and that the bus was the vehicle changing lane.
Tesla’s Autopilot has an automatic lane change feature that enables the vehicle to change lanes using the turn signal while on ‘Autosteer’, but Tesla says that the driver is still responsible for looking and making sure that the lane change is safe before activating the turn signal.
Therefore, the Autopilot system isn’t likely to be at fault here, but the vehicle is also equipped with Automatic Emergency Braking and a Side Collision Avoidance system. The police said that they were looking into why the features didn’t prevent the accident.
The same report somehow already provided an estimate for the damage to the vehicle and bus: 55,000 euros ($62,000 USD).
We reached out to Tesla for a comment on the accident and for more details.
Update: A Tesla spokesperson sent us the following statement
We have spoken to our customer, who confirmed that Autopilot was functioning properly and that his use of Autopilot was unrelated to the accident. We’re glad that he’s safe.
Featured Image: A member of the media test drives a Tesla Motors Inc. Model S car equipped with Autopilot in Palo Alto, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
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