A self-driving Tesla crashed in New Jersey Sunday evening due to what the driver believes was a problem in the car’s autopilot system.
Captain Brian Hoiberg of the North Brunswick Police Department said the car’s driver was disturbed by the incident. “The driver was shaken up. He was panicked by the accident,” Hoiberg told CBS3. “Just the feeling of not having any control.”
The driver, who declined to be named or recorded by CBS3, was driving their Tesla Model X car when the crashed happened at approximately 6:30 p.m. Sunday evening and said the steering wheel locked during the crash, even though they still had their hands on it.
According to police, the driver claimed the Model X’s autopilot sensor’s accidentally interpreted white diagonal lines as a new lane. A missing rear view mirror and damaged traffic signs convey the impact of the incident.
Hoiberg told CBS3 that the police do not have the technology that can determine whether or not there was a deficiency in the car’s autopilot system.
Tesla asserts that all a driver has to do to disarm the autopilot system is lightly touch the vehicles steering wheel or brakes. The futuristic car company claims that there has not been an instance of its autopilot systems malfunctioning since they were introduced in 2015.
In October 2018, a Florida man filed a lawsuit against Tesla after his Model S car crashed into another vehicle while he was driving at 80 miles per hour on autopilot, according to Fortune magazine.
Shawn Hudson alleged in his lawsuit that he suffered “severe permanent injuries” and that Tesla is actually misinforming consumers about the capabilities of its autopilot systems.
While advances in technology brings us closer to automated machines like self-driving cars, this crash is a reminder that there are still a lot of wrinkles to be ironed out before we get there.