A Tesla driver using the vehicle’s self-driving mode crashed into a police car Thursday morning in Fullerton, almost hitting an officer who was investigating another crash, according to authorities. The officer was managing traffic at the time and emergency flares had been placed on the road.

The officer was standing outside his patrol vehicle, with its emergency lights on, and managed to jump out of the way before the driver of a blue Tesla crashed into his car, authorities said. A police dispatcher, who was riding in the patrol vehicle, also moved out of the way of the crash.

The Tesla driver admitted he was operating the vehicle in self-driving mode while using his cellphone. The crash comes months after Tesla settled a lawsuit with the family of a Bay Area engineer who died in a 2018 crash while using the company’s semiautonomous self-driving feature. Tesla agreed to settle the case for an undisclosed amount.

Tesla’s so-called Full Self-Driving and Autopilot systems help with braking, steering and changing lanes but aren’t completely autonomous. U.S. regulators have investigated hundreds of collisions, some of them deadly, that occurred while the Autopilot feature was engaged.

A police officer in Fullerton, California, just north of Anaheim, parked his patrol vehicle to block Oglethorpe Avenue.
He was posted for traffic control duty after a fatal collision involving a motorcyclist and a suspected DUI driver. Hours into the crash investigation, the officer was standing outside his patrol car when he saw a Tesla driving toward him without slowing down.

The officer leaped out of the way as the Tesla plowed into the patrol vehicle. The cop car spun around and suffered damage to its front end. Images of the blue Tesla show its airbags deployed and severe front-end damage. The police officer was uninjured. KTLA reported that a Fullerton spokesperson said the Tesla driver admitted they were using Full Self-Driving (FSD) mode. They also admitted to being on their cell phone during the wreck.


Image courtesy OC Hawk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

7 × 1 =