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‘Drunk’ Tesla driver claims he had ‘Autopilot on’

‘Drunk’ Tesla driver claims he had ‘Autopilot on’ after slamming into the back of a parked fire truck at 65mph in California

  • The Tesla rear-ended a fire engine that was stopped along US-101 in San Jose 
  • The 37-year-old driver, Michael Tran, told officers: ‘I think I had auto-pilot on’ 
  • Tran was later arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and booked into jail 
  • Two firefighters who were in the truck at the time of the crash were not injured 

A ‘drunk’ Tesla driver says he thought his car was in Autopilot mode after he crashed into the back of a firetruck in California.

The Tesla was going at about 65 miles per hour when it rear-ended a fire engine that was stopped with its emergency lights activated along US-101 in San Jose at around 1am on Saturday, the California Highway Patrol said.

The 37-year-old driver, Michael Tran, told officers: ‘I think I had auto-pilot on.’

A ‘drunk’ Tesla driver says he thought his car was in Autopilot mode after he crashed into the back of a firetruck in California. Pictured, the aftermath of the crash

 Courtesy of KRON4

But it was unclear whether the Autopilot was activated when he crashed.

Tran was later arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. It wasn’t immediately clear if he had an attorney.

The crash is under investigation.

Two firefighters in the fire truck were not injured, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Tran and a 26-year-old female passenger in the Tesla were taken to San Jose Regional Medical Center with minor injuries, according to the newspaper.

The Tesla (pictured) was going at about 65 miles per hour when it rear-ended a fire engine

The Tesla (pictured) was going at about 65 miles per hour when it rear-ended a fire engine

The driver of the Tesla (pictured) was later arrested on suspicion of drunken driving

The driver of the Tesla (pictured) was later arrested on suspicion of drunken driving

San Jose fire caption Mitch Matlow told NBC that his crew were lucky to be alive as the truck served as a barrier.

‘It was properly positioned and it saved the firefighter,’ he said.

He added that his crew saw the crash and immediately went to the aid of the Tesla’s occupants.

Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot mode has come under scrutiny following other crashes

Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot mode has come under scrutiny following other crashes

Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot mode has come under scrutiny following other recent crashes.

The carmaker says the function is not designed to avoid a collision and warns drivers not to rely on it entirely.

In a statement, Tesla said that it ‘has not yet received any data from the car, but we are working to establish the facts of the incident.’

 

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