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Dec. 14, 2019, 8:58 a.m. EST

Self-driving Tesla slams into a cop car — and the driver blames his dog

Elon Musk predicted ‘fully-functional full self-driving’ cars by the end of the year

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By Shawn Langlois, MarketWatch


Connecticut State Police
Do. Not. Rely. On auto-pilot.

Some best friend.

On Saturday, a Tesla Model 3 on auto-pilot crashed into two vehicles — one of them belonged to the Connecticut State Police, according to ABC News .

So why was driver relying on the self-driving software?

He explained that he was checking on his dog in the back seat, said police, who were called to the scene in Norwalk, Conn., to assist with a disabled vehicle that was occupying a lane. The Tesla ended up hitting both the police cruiser and the other car. No injuries were reported.

Read: Elon Musk doesn’t back down after Ford challenges Tesla to an ‘apples to apples’ tug-of-war rematch

The unidentified driver was issued a misdemeanor summons for reckless driving and reckless endangerment, police said, explaining to ABC News that “regardless of your vehicles capabilities, when operating a vehicle your full attention is required at all times to ensure safe driving.”

Autonomous cars are clearly still a work in progress, but Tesla /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA +4.26% boss Elon Musk, during the company’s third-quarter earnings call, laid out an optimistic and aggressive timeline for their emergence, predicting that we’ll see “fully-functional full self-driving” cars by the end of the year.

Musk, however, said he believes it will take another year before drivers can completely be taken out of the self-driving equation. And at that point, there will be plenty of regulatory red tape to navigate.

Earlier this week, representatives from the auto industry, brought together by the Coalition for Future Mobility, argued at a forum on Capitol Hill in favor of creating federal rules and standards around autonomous vehicles.

Shares of Tesla added less than 1% to $338.28 in early trades on Monday and are now up almost 2% since the beginning of the year.

/zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 1,621.00
+66.24 +4.26%
Volume: 20.05M
Aug. 13, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
843.61
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$289.75 billion
Rev. per Employee
$439,627
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Shawn Langlois is an editor and writer for MarketWatch in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @slangwise.

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