Detroit police don’t think Tesla was on Autopilot during ‘violent’ semi crash

Detroit police investigating an accident involving a Tesla Model Y getting lodged under a semi-truck trailer do not believe the car’s Autopilot system was engaged at the time of the collision.


The Monday incident left a passenger in the car in critical condition, while the driver sustained minor injuries.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has sent a team to investigate the accident, which it described as “violent” and was similar to two fatal crashes in Florida that involved the Autopilot feature.

“All the indications that we have at this point is that it was not in Autopilot mode, that the driver was in control of the vehicle at the time of the crash,” Deputy Chief David LeValley told Fox 2 WJBK.

Tesla v Semi

LeValley said the driver claimed he was in control and that surveillance footage from before the collision showed the car making what appeared to be evasive maneuvers prior to the impact.

Tesla’s Autopilot is capable of braking for obstacles while its Full Self-Driving feature has additional functionality that includes stop sign and red light recognition and the ability to pass other cars on the highway.


A Beta version of Full Self-Driving currently being tested by a small group of Tesla owners can drive the cars on city streets without much human intervention, according to the company.

LaValley said the investigation is continuing, however, and that the car’s data will be checked to see if it can be determined whether or not the driver aids were in use at the time of the crash.

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