A Tesla on Autopilot smashed into the back of a patrol vehicle on the side of the road near Benson, Arizona today, according to Arizona's Department of Public Safety Twitter feed.
"Today, a Tesla rear-ended a patrol vehicle at the scene of an earlier crash on I-10 EB near Benson. Luckily, our sergeant wasn’t in the vehicle & wasn't hurt," the tweet says.
In addition to being on Autopilot, the driver of the vehicle is being investigated for DUI, according to the Arizona DPS.
"We can confirm the driver indicated to troopers the Tesla was on autopilot at the time of the collision. Additionally, the driver, a 23-year-old male from Irvine, CA, is being investigated for DUI. He remains in the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries," they commented on Twitter.
"The impact caused the patrol vehicle to collide with the back of an ambulance, but fortunately the occupants of the ambulance weren’t injured. The driver of the Tesla had non-life-threatening injuries. Please AZ - #MoveOver! It’s the law & it helps everyone get home safely," the Arizona DPS wrote.
Fortunately, the police officer involved escaped injury, but this marks the latest in a string of incidents where Tesla vehicles - some of which were on Autopilot - have slammed into the back of inanimate objects on various roadways.
We can't help but wonder: where could the driver have gotten the impression that they might be able to possibly go drinking and have their car take over the driving for them? Could it be from the name "Autopilot"? Or the careless throwing around of the term "full self driving"? Perhaps maybe from the idea of Autopilot being safer than human drivers being peddled by the company?
Recall, it was just about a month ago that we reported about a Tesla traveling on a highway in Taiwan, at what appeared to be full speed, before slamming directly into an overturned truck that was laying across the highway. The Tesla appeared to make little or no change in direction before hitting the truck. At one point, smoke can be seen coming out of the back tires of the vehicle, indicating that the Tesla may have tried to brake - but to no avail.
Days before that incident, we reported on a Tesla that was found to have driven off a cliff under "mysterious" circumstances in Santa Clara County, California.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the Tesla "went over" the cliff, and the driver, 60-year-old Pleasanton resident James Yacorzynski, was found dead at the scene.
California Highway Patrol officer Ross Lee commented that authorities were unsure how long the Tesla had been sitting at the bottom of the cliff.
Finally, two weeks ago, we reported that Tesla's Autopilot was to blame for a similar near-fatal accident that took place last December. A Massachusetts State Police trooper had just pulled over a vehicle on the side of Route 24 in West Bridgewater when the trooper's vehicle was slammed into by the Tesla.
The driver who was pulled over, Maria Smith, said: "It just happened so quick. Before I knew it, my car was flying forward. I looked behind me, and my whole back windshield was blown out. There was glass in my hair."
A man "driving" the Tesla had slammed into the State Police cruiser that, in turn, wound up slamming into the stopped SUV. Nicholas Ciarlone, the driver is now facing a negligent driving charge, according to NBC 10.
The car was "finally stopped several hundred feet ahead" by another state trooper.
Court documents shows that when a trooper responded to the scene to help, Ciarlone said that he "must not have been paying attention." Recall, at the time of the accident, we reported that the driver said that he had put the car in Autopilot because he was checking on his dog in the back seat.
Smith said: "I thought that was terrifying. To think the sensors are not equipped enough to pick up a police car with its sirens and lights on the highway."