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Tesla autopilot mode ‘suddenly accelerates’ causing accident (UPDATED)

by Sean P. Aune | July 17, 2017July 17, 2017 1:30 pm PDT

A Minnesota man is blaming Tesla’s Autopilot system for a crash he was involved in over the weekend.

According to information from the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office, David Clark was driving his Tesla Model S near Hawick, Minnesota on Saturday evening at the time of the accident. According to the report, the Autopilot system suddenly accelerated, causing the car to flip over with Clark and four passengers in his vehicle. All five people in the vehicle had their injuries listed as being “minor.”

Tesla has only said so far that it is cooperating with the local authorities and that it has no reason to believe that the Autopilot system functioned in any way other than it was designed.

Currently, there is already a federal lawsuit against Tesla in California for an incident involving a vehicle suddenly accelerating in a garage and crashing through a wall. There has been a request filed to change the lawsuit to a class-action status as seven other Tesla drivers have similar complaints about sudden acceleration.

There was also an incident in May 2016 in Gainsville, Florida where a Tesla in Autopilot mode was unable to discern the difference between a white truck and the sky causing the car to hit the truck at 70 miles per hour.

UPDATE: David Clark has emailed Tesla and explained the situation and that Autopilot was not involved in the crash.

The sheriff’s department issued a follow-up statement to its original statement.

I understand the misunderstanding about our conversation the day of the accident. When we have accidents with injuries it is our responsibility to provide the information regarding details to the press outlets.

With the information we talked about and how you explained them to me, I was in the understanding that the vehicle was in autopilot based on how you explained it. Therefore, that’s how it was reported.

Independent

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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