Tesla driver cited with ‘reckless driving’ after crashing into police car while on Autopilot

A Tesla Model 3 owner driving on Autopilot crashed into a police vehicle in Connecticut and was given a citation for reckless driving after admitting that he wasn’t paying attention at the moment of the crash.

Over the last few years, Tesla had a problem where people would crash their cars and blame it on Autopilot, even though Tesla asks drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention at all times.

The automaker says that the driver is always responsible.

In a new case in Norwalk, Connecticut, a Tesla Model 3 crashed into a state police cruiser parked on the road to help a stalled vehicle.

No one was hurt in the accident.

Local news reported that the Tesla driver said that he was driving on Autopilot and admitted to not paying attention moments before the crash:

The driver of the Tesla told police his car was in autopilot while he was checking on his dog in the back seat just before the crash.

He got cited for “reckless driving and reckless endangerment” for the incident.

The state police commented on the citation:

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, although a number of vehicles have some automated capabilities, there are no vehicles currently for sale that are fully automated or self-driving.

Under its current form, Tesla’s Autopilot is considered a driver-assist system.

In the past, Tesla drivers have characterized Autopilot as a self-driving system in order to try to get out of situations with the police, but in most cases, it was found that the drivers weren’t paying attention and not using the driver-assist system properly.

Last year, a Tesla driver was arrested for drunk driving after blaming Autopilot for crashing into a fire truck.

According to an NTSB report, a Tesla driver was eating and drinking during a crash on Autopilot that was widely covered in the media.

Electrek’s Take

I am afraid that some people are going to ruin Autopilot for others who use it properly and cautiously.

Like we have reported recently, Tesla has made a lot of progress with Autopilot, but it’s not a reason to not be on high alert when using the system.

It’s still far from perfect, and you need to be ready to take control at all times.

If the risk of an accident is not enough to deter you from not paying attention when driving on Autopilot, now it looks like you can get cited for reckless driving for it. The driver is always responsible.

That said, it’s not like people don’t get distracted by things when not on Autopilot, and those people would also get cited for reckless driving.

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