Driver Claims Tesla on Autopilot After Hitting Connecticut State Police Cruiser

Connecticut State Police were stopped behind a disabled motor vehicle in the center lane of Interstate 95 north near Exit 15 in Norwalk early Saturday, waiting for a tow truck to arrive, when an oncoming car struck a cruiser, a release said.

New Haven Register, Conn.
Connecticut State Police were stopped behind a disabled motor vehicle in the center lane of Interstate 95 north near Exit 15 in Norwalk early Saturday, waiting for a tow truck to arrive, when an oncoming car struck a cruiser, a release said.
Connecticut State Police were stopped behind a disabled motor vehicle in the center lane of Interstate 95 north near Exit 15 in Norwalk early Saturday, waiting for a tow truck to arrive, when an oncoming car struck a cruiser, a release said.
Connecticut State Police

NORWALK, Connecticut — Connecticut State Police were stopped behind a disabled motor vehicle in the center lane of Interstate 95 north near Exit 15 in Norwalk early Saturday, waiting for a tow truck to arrive, when an oncoming car struck a cruiser, a release said.

The driver claimed his car, a Tesla, was on auto-pilot, and he was checking on his dog in the back seat in the moments before the crash, according to state police, who posted about the collision on Facebook.

After striking the cruiser, the driver hit the disabled vehicle and continued at a slow speed until a trooper stopped him several hundred feet ahead, the post said.

Tesla’s website says cars with autopilot features still need drivers.

“Autopilot features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.”

Two state troopers were at the scene of Saturday’s collision as it occurred, with their emergency lights on as they monitored the disabled vehicle, according to the release.

Officials said no serious injuries were reported.

Police issued the Tesla operator a misdemeanor summons for reckless driving and reckless endangerment, they said in the release.

“Regardless of your vehicle’s capabilities, when operating a vehicle your full attention is required at all times to ensure safe driving,” the post continued, noting that National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not yet designated any vehicles for sale capable of fully automated driving.

Fully automated cars have undergone testing in various parts of the country, according to an article published in U.S. News & World Report last year. But it may be another decade before they are available to the general public, CNBC reported.

meghan.friedmann@hearstmediact.com

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