Tesla in autonomous mode hits parked police vehicle

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[Police Sgt. Jim Cota] said the luxury electric auto crashed in nearly the same place as another Tesla about a year ago.

A Greek police official said on Tuesday that no other vehicle was involved in the Friday-night accident in northern Greece and no one was injured. Tesla's autopilot system uses sensors, cameras, and radar to study the vehicle's surroundings and carry out automatic functions which include emergency braking. The drivers escaped with minor injuries, but the Tesla was barely recognizable.

Earlier this month, a vehicle in autopilot mode crashed into a stopped firetruck near Salt Lake City, Utah, injuring two people. In March, a Model X hit a highway divider while on autopilot in California, killing the driver.

She had been driving 80 seconds in Autopilot before the crash.

It is not the first time the Autopilot feature has led to unsafe driving.

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Tesla has repeatedly said drivers must be attentive, keep their hands on the wheel, and be able to take control of the vehicle when using Autopilot, which is not a fully autonomous system.

The news comes after two USA rights groups urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Tesla over its marketing of the assisted driving software. The agency is also probing the January crash of a Tesla vehicle apparently traveling in Autopilot that struck a parked fire truck.

It called the naming of the Autopilot "deceptive and misleading".

In April, Bloomberg reported that safety advocates were becoming increasingly sceptical of Tesla's claims that autopilot mode reduced crashes by 40 per cent, saying the company was misrepresenting National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data that itself was not fully released to the public. "It's super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the ~40,000 people who died in United States auto accidents alone in past year get nearly no coverage", Musk wrote about the Utah crash on Twitter.

However, last week Tesla settled a lawsuit alleging the semi-autonomous autopilot feature was "essentially unusable and demonstrably risky".