Drivers crashing while carelessly using Tesla’s Autopilot driver assistance system aren’t anything new. However, one Tesla driver in Michigan is here to add a couple of twists. Not only did he crash his Tesla into a Michigan State Police Trooper while on Autopilot early Wednesday morning, but he did it while driving on a suspended license, the Detroit News reports.
Michigan, look, we need to talk. It seems like a lot of your drivers have suspended licenses but are still on the road for some reason. Last week, one suspended driver decided to appear in virtual court from the driver seat. And now this? It’s not often that you see this many bad moves snowballed into a hilariously stupid scenario.
The crash was described in this cut-and-dry tweet from Michigan State Police First District:
On 3/17 at 1:12 am, troopers from the Lansing Post investigating a car vs deer traffic crash on I-96 near Waverly Rd in Eaton County. While investigating that crash with their emergency lights on, a Tesla on autopilot strikes the patrol car.
The crash took a solid chunk out of the Tesla.
Thankfully, neither the officers in the squad car nor the Tesla driver were injured. The driver of the Tesla, a 22-year-old man from Lansing, was issued citations for failing to move over and for driving on a suspended license. This driver wasn’t supposed to be driving in the first place, let alone allowing Autopilot to badly steer for him.
Why so many drivers ignore the fact that a Level 2 system isn’t a true self-driving system is beyond me. Either way, this crash is a prime example of why until cars can truly be trusted to drive on their own, driving still needs your full attention. Autopilot is neat, just pay attention to what’s happening!
Weirdly, this is the second big Tesla crash in a week in Michigan, reports Fox 2. On March 11, two people were critically injured when a Tesla got wedged into the trailer of a semi on Fort Street in Detroit. Local 4 News reports that after strong urging from the National Transportation Safety Board, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation into that crash.
Police believe that Tesla was under manual control, from Fox 2:
Detroit police said Tuesday that “all the indications that we have at this point is that it was not in autopilot mode,” said Deputy Chief David LeValley, “that the driver was in control of the vehicle at the time of the crash.”
LeValley said that surveillance footage showed the car performing sharp maneuvers before the car got lodged under the truck.
Hopefully, the driver who crashed while on Autopilot does not appear in virtual court from behind the wheel. If you have a suspended license, it’s probably a good idea not to drive. But if for some reason you ignore that, it’s best not to crash into a police car.