On Friday night a Tesla Model S sedan traveling at about 97km/h smashed into a fire engine that was stopped at a red light about 30 kilometres south of Salt Lake City, Utah. The Tesla's driver suffered a broken right ankle, and the driver of the Unified Fire Authority mechanic truck did not require treatment, Winkler said.
A Tesla sedan with a semi-autonomous Autopilot feature has rear-ended a fire department truck at 60 miles per hour (97 kph) apparently without braking before impact, but police say it's unknown if the Autopilot feature was engaged.
Tesla's Autopilot system is a complex beast that uses radar, cameras with 360-degree visibility and sensors to detect nearby cars and objects.
Tesla has yet to officially respond to the incident, although the company's CEO and co-founder Elon Musk has been talking about it on Twitter. NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway said he did not know whether the agency would get involved.
The driver, whom police have not named, was taken to a hospital with a broken foot.
In one of those accidents, a woman in Utah broke her foot after she slammed into a truck when her vehicle allegedly ran a red light while it was in autopilot mode.
"What's actually unbelievable about this accident is that a Model S hit a fire truck at 60 m.p.h. and the driver only broke an ankle", he added. "An impact that speed usually results in severe injury or death".
The Associated Press
Police said they had been in contact with the National Transportation Safety Board about the crash. Last week, the independent federal agency opened a probe into a Model S that caught fire after crashing into a wall In Florida.
Tesla's stock price slipped Monday following another autopilot crash, this time in Utah, which the NTSB said it would investigate alongside its other now open investigation into the fatal crash of a Model X in California in March. In March, a Tesla Model X SUV crashed on a California highway, killing the driver, and investigators are looking into the performance of the semi-autonomous driving system in that crash. The driver in that incident died.
"The system worked as described, which is that it's a hands-on system".
In his email to staff, Musk said Tesla was "flattening the management structure to improve communication", combining functions and trimming activities "not vital to the success of our mission" in the reorganisation. A driver was behind the wheel of the test vehicle in that case but failed to halt in time.
There was light rain falling and roads were wet when the crash occurred, police said in a statement.
While consumers nationwide have reason to be on edge when it comes to the fast-growing self-driving auto industry, Tesla's Autopilot feature has been a hot button issue for some time now, despite the company touting it as "the future of driving".