Earlier this month we told you about an accident involving a Tesla Model 3 and Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) cruiser in Orlando. The police cruiser was stopped on Interstate 4 assisting an earlier two-vehicle crash when the Tesla, reportedly on Autopilot, clipped the side of the officer’s car causing significant damage to both vehicles.
FHP has now released dashcam video of the accident from multiple angles showing the driver of the Model 3 was clearly not following Tesla’s rules for using the driver-assist feature.
A report by WESH2 News says the section of interstate where the accident took place is a “straight shot into downtown Orlando”. At 4:00am and with the police cruiser’s lights flashing, the driver of the Model 3 should have had more than enough time to react, slow down and move over if she was paying attention, something which Tesla reminds all owners to do every time they activate the feature.
In a refreshing change Lt. Kim Montes puts the blame squarely on the driver, even if Autopilot was active at the time of the crash.
“Even if there was some type of vehicle malfunction, which she’s claiming from the Tesla, Tesla still instructs their drivers that they are supposed to be in control of that vehicle. For anybody that has car that has drivers-assist, you are still responsible as a driver to avoid a crash.”
The accident is now part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) investigation into Autopilot crashes involving stationary emergency vehicles. The government agency has requested detailed information from Tesla on how their vehicles detect a crash scene, flashing lights, cars parked on the side of the road, and much more.
The NHTSA is also seeking information from 12 other automakers on their advanced driver-assist systems.