Author: Cole Zercoe

By Alma Fausto The Orange County Register

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. — A Tesla sedan traveling in semi-autonomous Autopilot mode crashed into a parked police vehicle in Laguna Beach on Tuesday morning, May 29, authorities said.

“Instead of driving in the roadway, it veered off,” said Laguna Beach police Sgt. Jim Cota of the 11:07 a.m. crash. The 2015 sedan was traveling in the 20600 block of Laguna Canyon Road near the city’s homeless shelter when it hit the parked police vehicle.

“Thankfully there was no officer in the car at the time,” Cota said.

This morning a Tesla sedan driving outbound Laguna Canyon Road in “autopilot” collides with a parked @LagunaBeachPD unit. Officer was not in the unit at the time of the crash and minor injuries were sustained to the Tesla driver. #lagunabeach #police #tesla

— Laguna Beach PD PIO (@LBPD_PIO_45) May 29, 2018

The driver of the 2015 Tesla Model S had minor injuries and refused medical treatment.

It is still unclear why the Tesla sedan veered and struck the police SUV which was totaled, Cota said. The crash remains under investigation.

Cota said the driver was not cited at the crash site.

When asked if there was a possibility that the driver could be cited in the future, Cota said: “We’re still in an investigation mode.”

Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot mode has come under scrutiny following other recent crashes. The automaker has said that the function is not designed to avoid a collision, and drivers are warned not to rely on it entirely.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

So we went to check on our police unit today. To say the least, it’s not in good shape. @LagunaBeachPD

— Laguna Beach PD PIO (@LBPD_PIO_45) May 31, 2018

©2018 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)

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