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Autopilot blamed as Model X gets into minor accident with a police motorcycle

Published Mar 28th, 2017 6:30PM EDT

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Tesla’s Autopilot feature certainly gives us a glimpse into the future of transportation, but we’re still a ways off from a time when we can confidently get behind the wheel and ignore the road while letting Tesla’s suite of hardware sensors and software do all of the heavy lifting. If anything, relying on Tesla’s Autopilot feature as a replacement for fully paying attention to one’s surroundings can easily lead to a serious crash. Indeed, a Model X driver recently learned this the hard way after his Model X rammed into the back of a semi-truck.

In the latest instance of a Tesla on Autopilot gone wild, a Model X driver based out of Arizona recently crashed into a police motorcycle, albeit at a relatively low speed of 3 MPH.

According to a report from AZ Central, the Model X in question cruised into a police motorcycle that had come to a stop at a red light.

“The Tesla driver told police that he had the car in autopilot mode at the time of the incident,” the report states, “but Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Alan Pfohl said investigators were unable to corroborate that statement.”

To be fair, because we’ve seen instances of Tesla drivers quickly shift the blame for an accident to their car’s Autopilot software as a means to diminish their own responsibility, we’ll have to wait and see if Tesla issues an official statement on the crash. Tesla, remember, keeps logs of all this stuff that it can access as part of any crash investigation.

That said, Pfohl added that there will be no official police investigation because there wasn’t really any damage to speak of. “It wasn’t even a reportable collision,” Pfohl said. “If it wasn’t involving an officer, we would not have even investigated it.”

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.