"Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot doesn't make the car impervious to all accidents," the company says.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation into the latest Tesla Autopilot crash that injured a Model S driver in Utah.
The vehicle was traveling around 60 mph when it smashed into the back of a truck that had stopped at a red light. The Model S driver reportedly told police she had been looking down at her phone at the time.
"When using Autopilot, drivers are continuously reminded of their responsibility to keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control of the vehicle at all times," Tesla has repeatedly stressed. "Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot doesn't make the car impervious to all accidents."
Tesla's Traffic-Aware Cruise Control system is programmed to ignore stationary roadside objects when traveling at highway speed. The limitation can create potentially dangerous situations if drivers are not paying attention when using the system on side roads.
"Traffic-Aware Cruise Control cannot detect all objects and may not brake/decelerate for stationary vehicles, especially in situations when you are driving over 50 mph and a vehicle you are following moves out of your driving path and a stationary vehicle or object is in front of you instead," the company said in response to a previous accident involving a Model S that smashed into the back of a fire truck.
CEO Elon Musk has criticized the attention surrounding such incidents, arguing that Tesla's vehicles are four times safer than average cars on the road.
What's actually amazing about this accident is that a Model S hit a fire truck at 60mph and the driver only broke an ankle. An impact at that speed usually results in severe injury or death.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 14, 2018