Police investigating self-driving feature as cause in Tesla crash

May 12, 2018, 10:02 PM | Updated: May 13, 2018, 12:45 pm

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah – Police in South Jordan are trying to figure out what caused a car to slam into the back of a stopped truck at a red light.

South Jordan Police said the crash happened at 6:38 Friday evening. They said a Tesla Model S was traveling south along Bangerter Highway. As it approached a red light at 10400 South, police said the car hit the back of a Unified Fire Authority mechanic truck. Police said the car was moving at 60 miles per hour when it hit the truck. The driver of the Tesla, a 28-year-old woman from Lehi, had a broken right ankle, but no life-threatening injuries.

PHOTO: South Jordan Police Dept.

“That high a speed into a vehicle that’s stopped, especially a larger vehicle, she’s very lucky she didn’t have more serious injuries,” said Sergeant Sam Winkler.

Tesla Model S cars are equipped with a self-driving feature called “autopilot”. Investigators do not know whether the car was operating in autopilot when it crashed. Witnesses told police it did not appear that the driver applied brakes before the crash. They are working to get data from the vehicle that will help them figure out what was happening in the vehicle before the crash.

“The concern is, obviously, whether it was on autopilot or not. Obviously that’s still part of our investigation. We’ve reached out to some resources to help us determine whether that was the case or not,” Winkler said.

Winkler said investigators had been in touch with both Tesla and the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB is also investigating crashes involving self-driving cars in Arizona and California.

PHOTO: South Jordan Police Dept.

PHOTO: South Jordan Police Dept.

PHOTO: South Jordan Police Dept.

PHOTO: South Jordan Police Dept.

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Police investigating self-driving feature as cause in Tesla crash