A Tesla driven in autopilot mode crashed into a Washington state patrol car earlier in the week.
The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday the patrol car was heavily damaged but no one was seriously hurt.
Photos of the damaged vehicle were published by the sheriff's office, showing how the impact smashed its front side. County Sheriff's Office representative, Courtney O'Keefe, said both the deputy and the Tesla driver walked away without injuries.
The deputy driving the patrol car was reportedly responding to a separate car crash when the accident occurred. The deputy parked his patrol SUV on the side of the road to speak with first responders. Just 30 seconds after he got out of his vehicle, the electric vehicle suddenly slammed into his patrol car, the sheriff's office said.
A Tesla on autopilot crashed into a Washington sheriff deputy’s patrol car and extensively damaged both vehicles.https://t.co/1Ipm3ppNhC — New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) May 17, 2021
"This is a great reminder that vehicles may have autopilot to assist, but it cannot be relied upon to get you safely from one destination to the next," O'Keefe said.
Washington State Patrol said it is currently conducting an investigation and it will release more details once they become available.
Tesla's autopilot system has been the subject of several incidents over the past few months. Last week, a California man was arrested for sitting on the back seat of his moving Tesla on the highway. Last month, two people were killed when their driverless Tesla crashed.
Tesla has repeatedly told regulators that its cars are not yet capable of fully autonomous driving. Despite its warnings and claims, Tesla has been criticized for its marketing methods, which regulators said could mislead consumers into thinking its vehicles are capable of driving autonomously.
On Tuesday, Tesla retracted its CEO's previous claim that it would be able to achieve full self-driving technology by the end of this year. The company submitted a memo to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, clarifying Elon Musk's previous claims.
"Elon's tweet does not match engineering reality. Tesla is at Level 2 currently. As Tesla is aware, the public's misunderstanding about the limits of the technology and its misuse can have tragic consequences," the California DMV said.