Michael Tran, a 37-year-old, was riding along in his Tesla vehicle with a female passenger when the car smashed into the back of a parked firetruck.
The San Jose firetruck clearly had its emergency lights activated at the time of impact. It was around 1 A.M. on August 25, and there were two firefighters aboard the truck when the crash happened. Both the Tesla driver and his passenger were transported to the San Jose Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening and minor injuries, and the firefighters were uninjured.
Responding police officers questioned Tran about the crash. He told officers, “I think I had auto-pilot on.” Despite this, the Tesla Model S was going at least 65 mph when the crash occurred. It remains unclear whether the Tesla’s auto-pilot was activated or not. Tesla explained in a statement that they haven’t yet received the data from the car, but they will be working towards examining the evidence once it becomes available. Even if the auto-pilot feature was activated, drivers are urged not to utilize this incredible feature as a substitute for actual driving. Too many people mistakenly believe the car will literally drive itself, but the driver’s constant attention and vigilant is necessary for the safety of all drivers on the road. The Auto-pilot mode, Tesla explains, is not designed to avoid a collision.
The California Highway Patrol officer suspected Tran was intoxicated. After receiving treatment at the hospital, he was arrested under the suspicion of drunken driving. Investigators will continue to examine the evidence to determine whether Tesla’s auto-pilot features played a role in the crash.