A Phoenix police motorcycle was struck by a Tesla Model X reportedly operating on autopilot last week, police said. The incident happened a few days before an accident involving an automated Uber vehicle in Tempe, AZ.
Phoenix police on Monday confirmed that the incident occurred when a Tesla driver and an on-duty officer exited the Black Canyon Freeway onto Utopia Road on the afternoon of March 21, reports AZcentral.com .
The officer, who was in front of the Tesla driver, stopped for a stoplight, police said. After also stopping briefly, the Tesla began moving forward, prompting the officer to jump off his motorcycle and move away. The car struck the fallen motorcycle, but no damage was reported to either vehicle.
The officer later estimated the car was moving at about three miles per hour, police said.
The Tesla driver told police that he had the car in autopilot mode at the time of the incident, but Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Alan Pfohl said investigators were unable to corroborate that statement.
Because it was such a minor collision, he said, there will be no further investigation. The officer was not harmed, and no citations were issued.
“It was pretty much a tap,” Pfohl said, adding that, under other circumstances, it wouldn’t have been deemed an accident. “It wasn’t even a reportable collision. If it wasn’t involving an officer, we would not have even investigated it.”
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