— A Tesla Model 3 driver who crashed into a parked police car and then hit a disabled car says he was checking on his dog in the rear seat when the crash occurred.
As in multiple Tesla crashes, instead of paying attention to the road and surroundings, the Model 3 driver said he had Autopilot engaged and didn't notice the flashing lights on two police cruisers.
According to the Connecticut State Police, the crash occurred in the early hours of December 7 when officers with Troop G-Bridgeport responded to a disabled vehicle on Interstate 95 in Norwalk.
The stationary vehicle was sitting in the left center lane with the troopers parked behind the disabled vehicle, lights flashing and a pattern of flares placed behind the patrol cruisers. While the officers were waiting for a tow truck, the 2018 Tesla Model 3 slammed into the rear of one cruiser and then hit the disabled vehicle.
The Tesla continued to travel slowly before being stopped several hundred feet ahead by the second trooper at the scene. The driver said he had Autopilot engaged and was checking on his dog in the back seat when the crash occurred.
State police cited the Tesla driver for misdemeanor reckless driving and reckless endangerment, and Tesla hasn't released information concerning logs that would indicate if Autopilot was indeed engaged.
Even though the license plate said, "MODEL3," the driver must not have paid attention to the owner's manual which says to keep your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road when Autopilot is activated.
But the Connecticut driver joins other Tesla owners who believed driver-assist technology equals a fully driverless car. Based on the Connecticut crash and other crashes allegedly involving Autopilot, drivers who should have common sense chose to deactivate it when Autopilot was activated.
Multiple examples abound, including the unfortunate death of Joshua Brown who was killed when his Tesla traveled straight into a tractor-trailer.
There is also the Model X driver who didn't prevent the vehicle from traveling across highway lane markers and crashing into a construction barricade.
Then there is the Chinese driver of a Model S who believed Autopilot would allow him to take his eyes off the road as his car crashed into another vehicle.
In addition, a separate crash in China killed the driver who allegedly had Autopilot engaged when the car slammed into a street sweeper. His family said he put his faith in technology he believed would do all the driving.
Another Tesla driver was killed when his Model X with Autopilot engaged slammed head-on into a concrete highway divider that could have easily been avoided if the driver would have been watching his surroundings.
And in a crash of a Model S, the car plowed into a disabled car at 80 mph because the driver was looking at his cell phone, believing Autopilot would prevent the crash.
Update - Federal safety investigators say they will investigate the Connecticut crash because the driver alleges Autopilot was engaged when the Model 3 slammed into the police car.