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Self-driving Tesla crashes into fire engine in California

26 January 2018

A Tesla Model S electric vehicle has crashed into the back of a fire engine in California while reportedly in self-driving mode.

The Culver City, California fire department tweeted on Monday that an engine was struck by a Tesla "traveling at 65 miles per hour".

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is sending a team of investigators to California to evaluate the crash and "assess lessons learned", the agency said.

It's likely they'll look into whether Autopilot was on and if it failed to spot the fire engine.

The Culver City firefighters" union said in an Instagram post that the Tesla - a black Model S sedan - "plowed into the rear of Engine 42' while crews were responding to a motorcycle accident at around 8.30am.


In a statement released after Monday's crash, a Tesla representative reiterated that Autopilot is 'intended for use only with a fully attentive driver'.

A Tesla spokeswoman declined to comment on the investigations. The agency said the Autopilot system operated as designed but did not ensure drivers paid adequate attention.

The video comes after a Model S crashed into a fire truck while reportedly in the semi-autonomous Autopilot mode.

The fire truck was parked in an emergency lane at the side of the highway attending to another accident. The truck was unoccupied at the time, and no injuries were claimed by anyone at the crash scene, according to the CHP. Level 2 automation systems are generally limited to use on interstate highways, which don't have intersections. The NTSB re-issued previous recommendations that the government require all new cars and trucks to be equipped with technology that wirelessly transmits the vehicles' location, speed, heading and other information to other vehicles in order to prevent collisions. The driver in the Florida crash had his hands on the sedan's steering wheel for only 25 seconds out of the 37.5 minutes the vehicle's cruise control and lane-keeping systems were in use prior to the crash, investigators found. Some owners actually died when leaving everything to Autopilot but in Tesla's defence, the company has warned owners to always remain alert and prepared to take over the driving duties.

Tesla´s Autopilot system is a semi-autonomous driving system that keeps the auto centred in its lane at a pre-determined distance from other cars. The company has repeatedly reminded drivers of this fact, as several drivers have blamed the Autopilot for accidents over the last couple of years.

Self-driving Tesla crashes into fire engine in California