Tesla rams police car, be glad it wasn’t a Crown Vic
In the latest edition of “Fun Autopilot Fails,” a 2018 Tesla Model 3 rammed a parked state police car in Connecticut on Saturday. The highway patrol vehicle had stopped behind a stranded car on I-95, and the Tesla slammed into it. The police car, while a Ford, was fortunately not a Crown Victoria; those had an unfortunate tendency to explode when hit from behind.
Conventional cars with forward laser-and-camera systems, such as any GM, Ford, or Chrysler equipped with forward collision sensors, would most likely have stopped even without “autonomous driving” capabilities. Tesla has reportedly placed its trust mainly in video cameras.
The police car, according to the state police, had “their emergency lights activated, with an additional flare pattern behind the cruisers.” The Tesla driver was apparently checking on his dog in the back seat when the crash occured; he kept on going before another trooper pulled him over and handed a ticket for reckless driving and reckless endangerment. Nobody was actually injured.
Despite videos posted by Elon Musk and his wife (one showing her “driving” with a blindfold, on public roads), no Teslas (or any other cars) have actual self-driving, though with cruise control, forward collision warning, and lane maintenance, some might think they have the ability to drive without attention.
Story from Connecticut State Police, via Automotive News.
Clark Westfield grew up fixing up and driving past-their-prime American cars, including various GM and Mopar V8s. He has ghostwritten auto news for the last few years, and lives in Farmingdale, New York.