Police: Tesla driver was using ‘autopilot’ feature at time of crash

Local News

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (News4Utah) –Police said a Tesla driver had the vehicle’s “autopilot” feature on when it rear-ended a truck Friday evening.

It happened just after 6:30 p.m. at 10400 South Bangerter Highway in South Jordan.

The Tesla Model S slammed into the back of a Unified Fire Authority mechanic truck at 60 mph. The truck had been stopped at a red light. Witnesses told police the driver of the Tesla did not brake or make any attempt to avoid the collision.

When police interviewed the Tesla driver, a 28-year-old Lehi woman, she told them she had “autopilot” on, but she also admitted that she was looking at her phone before the crash.

The Tesla driver suffered a broken foot, and the driver of the truck was checked for possible whiplash, but he was not taken to the hospital. 

South Jordan Police Department said it is working with technicians from Tesla to gather and review data stored within the vehicle, which may take several days.

Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter Monday to say that it was “super messed up” that a Tesla crash was getting so much media attention. 

“It’s super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the ~40,000 people who died in US auto accidents alone in past year get almost no coverage.”

Police remind drivers of semi-autonomous vehicles, “it is their responsibility to stay alert, drive safely, and be in control of the vehicle at all times.”

A Tesla spokesperson sent News4Utah this statement: 

“Tesla has not yet received any data from the car and thus does not know the facts of what occurred, including whether Autopilot was engaged.”

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