SALT LAKE CITY — The driver of a Tesla electric car had the vehicle's semi-autonomous Autopilot mode engaged when she slammed into the back of a Utah firetruck over the weekend, in the latest crash involving a car with self-driving features.
The 28-year-old driver of the car told police in suburban Salt Lake City that the system was switched on and that she had been looking at her phone before the Friday evening crash.
Tesla's Autopilot system uses radar, cameras with 360-degree visibility and sensors to detect nearby cars and objects. It's built so cars can automatically change lanes, steer, park and brake to help avoid collisions.
The auto company markets the system as the "future of driving" but warns drivers to remain alert while using Autopilot and not to rely on it to entirely avoid accidents. Police reiterated that warning Monday.
A Tesla spokesperson did not comment following the disclosure about the use of the feature.