By on May 18, 2021

Tesla autonomously

A Tesla autonomously rammed a Snohomish County, Washington sheriff’s deputy’s Ford Explorer SUV. As reported by Nexstar Media Wire, the incident occurred over the weekend.

The parked SUV sustained heavy damage. There were no injuries to the driver or the deputy. There was no word on the extent of the damages to the Tesla.

Tesla autonomously

The incident took place Saturday, when the deputy responded to a call about a car crashed into a power pole. The SUV was parked on the side of the road with its lights flashing, when less than a minute later, the Tesla electric vehicle struck the stationary patrol vehicle, according to a sheriff’s department statement, posted to Facebook.

The Sheriff’s Department noted autopilot may assist but is not reliable.

In a related story, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles is said to be reviewing whether claims of Tesla autonomously driving violates state regulations by failing to meet the legal definition of self-driving. California prohibits advertising vehicles for sale or lease as autonomous if they can’t meet the regulatory definition.

According to the story, Tesla previously admitted to the DMV that its Full Self Driving (FSD) is actually Level 2 driver assist, and not fully autonomous. In their advertising, Tesla says FSD is a $10,000 option while at the same time noting that their vehicles can’t drive themselves.

Here’s Tesla’s own disclaimer, which says in part: “The currently enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous. The activation and use of these features are dependent on achieving reliability far in excess of human drivers.”

There has been no statement from the Tesla driver.

[Images: Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department]

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26 Comments on “Tesla Autonomously Rams Deputy’s SUV...”

  • avatar

    Teslas seem to get confused by strobing emergency lights.

  • avatar
    Mike Beranek

    In the Tesla’s defense, the police cruiser was a known short-seller and Elon-basher, so…

  • avatar

    Tesla is getting revenge for all the speed traps on our behalf. Fight the power!

    • 0 avatar

      Additional: That doesn’t look anything like extensive damage, the air bags didn’t even deploy. Snohomish County seems to be cruising for a new ride on the driver’s insurance. The only way that should be totaled is if the unibody at the bottom of the door or mid-A pillar is bent (which I doubt).

      • 0 avatar

        So that’s “Ford Tough”? Where’s the left front wheel and tire? My 1966 Olds Cutlass was hit in the same place by a tradesman van. The fender was pushed in and the steel wheel was bent, so I pulled out the fender with the car’s jack and replaced the wheel with the full size spare. I drove it a year like that, until a head gasket blew out.

        I can believe it was totaled. The new definition involves the police using contract dealer servicing at $150/hr. labor, so it costs too much to repair. The insurance companies will wholesale it out and somebody will fix it and sell it with a salvage title. The police will get another new Explorer from the dealer who padded the estimate.

        • 0 avatar
          Daniel J

          Wheels are now designed to brake away easily in a crash. That way they don’t get shoved into the passenger compartment.

          • 0 avatar

            Yep, 100%. The control arms are a mechanical fuse to protect the unibody frame (and driver) from damage.

          • 0 avatar

            Judging by the scrape in the driver’s door, it was a side hit angled toward the front bumper, not the firewall. I wouldn’t expect to see that much damage to the left front wheel and suspension.

            It would make me think twice about the durability of the suspension and steering. It looks like a standard Michigan pothole could disable it!

  • avatar

    The actual story is that some dude rammed a police car. No more, no less.

    If said dude believes the model car he was driving was harder to control sufficiently to prevent ramming cop cars compared to other cars, he should have bought an easier to control car. Or perhaps practiced in a parking lot.

    That’s all there is to it. If you buy a gun it is, 100%, your responsibility if “your gun” ends up shooting a cop. Choose your make of gun accordingly.

  • avatar

    So it’s full self driving that doesn’t drive itself what so ever. Got it thanks.

  • avatar

    Meanwhile, the loose nut behind the wheel will point his/her finger squarely at the car! The car did it! Heck, I wasn’t even driving, I was asleep in the back seat! I’m blameless!
    Here’s an idea: suspend the owners drivers license for 10 years, fine the sh!t out of them, and confiscate the car! Willfully stupid and dangerous drivers should be held accountable and lose the privilege of possessing a drivers license. Problem solved!

  • avatar

    “Full self driving!” “(warning: car does not drive itself)”

    So, Tesla is just…the cellular carriers. “UNLIMITED!! (warning: not unlimited)”

  • avatar

    The car involved was a 2015 with HW1. They’ve improved the hardware since the, but no matter what if there are flashing lights on a cruiser at the side of the road, you need to take over no matter what version.

    They should also require a drivers license endorsement and course for it along with requirements for driving extremely high horsepower cars. The FAA has licensing like that, I think we need it for cars too.

    As far as FSD terminology, Tesla absolutely needs to change it. Autopilot is a accurate term for anyone in aviation, but confuses the general public. FSD (and I can’t get myself to say it) should not be used. Call it enhanced driver assist or something like that. Call it Tesla Driver Assist and Tesla Driver Assist+ Advanced Cruise Control.

  • avatar

    It is Greenie attacked Police car. It happens all the time from Oregon to Washington state.

  • avatar
    Brett Woods

    It is concerning that FSD is sold at that price before it has been invented. Like the counting of the chickens before the eggs are hatched. Maybe FSD is going to be like KFC (No relation to Kentucky or Full)?

  • avatar

    “The currently enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous. The activation and use of these features are dependent on achieving reliability far in excess of human drivers.”

    And yet – Musk calls his features “Autopilot” and “Full Self-Driving”. What does he think his customers read: the weasely-worded legalese small-print disclaimer above, or his widely-touted “AUTOPILOT”? Do you think we’re idiots, Elon?

    • 0 avatar

      In Tesla’s defense, Autopilot is an appropriate name. People just misunderstand what an autopilot can do as opposed to a flight management system. An autopilot will fly you into another aircraft or a mountain and the main purpose is to relieve the pilot of some of the workload, not do everything for the pilot. The pilot is still responsible for avoidance. FMS is a very fancy system which can fly the entire route and do some avoidance but those aren’t infallible either.

  • avatar

    Police cruisers are now going to be equipped with option ED-209 so they can defend themselves.

  • avatar

    Good Tesla!

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