In a lede that we feel like we are writing on a weekly basis, a Tesla on Autopilot has - once again - slammed into an inanimate police cruiser.
The collision took place in Nash County, North Carolina, where a Nash County deputy and a trooper with the highway patrol were on the side of the road attending to another accident. Without warning, the Tesla "slammed into the deputy's cruiser", according to CBS 17, leave the cruiser a mangled wreck off the side of the road.
The incident raises an obvious question:
How many cop cars and emergency vehicles does Autopilot need to hit before someone gives a shit? https://t.co/OrdMqBTCWu— Keubiko (@Keubiko) August 26, 2020
The impact knocked both the deputy and the trooper to the ground. The driver was identified as Devainder Goli of Raleigh. He said he was "watching a movie on his phone while the car was on auto-pilot when the collision occurred." He was charged with failure to move over and location of television in a vehicle.
Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone said: “It was a simple lane closure and then suddenly death was at our footsteps.”
He continued: “It shows automation is never going to take the place of the motoring public paying attention, not texting, not being on the phone, but focusing on what you were doing, that is, driving.”
"Thankfully, no one was injured," Trooper Jeff Wilson continued.
Recall, last month, we pointed out when a Tesla on Autopilot smashed into the pack of another patrol vehicle, this one on the side of the road near Benson, AZ.
"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.
Recall, it was just about a month before that when 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.
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.
Finally, in late spring, 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."